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German foreign minister sits in on French Cabinet, in historic show of unity

  • France Germany-1.jpg

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, left, and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, talks to reporters after a weekly Cabinet meeting in the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, May 14, 2014.(AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) (The Associated Press)

  • France Germany-2.jpg

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, French President Francois Hollande, right, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee palace, Wednesday May 14, 2014, in Paris. (AP Photo/Alain Jocard, Pool) (The Associated Press)

  • France Germany-3.jpg

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, is welcomed by his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, left, and French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris prior to their weekly cabinet meeting Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) (The Associated Press)

A German foreign minister has sat in on a French Cabinet meeting for the first time — a symbol of European unity as the continent copes with new tensions over Ukraine.

This year Europe will be remembering both the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day invasion in Nazi-occupied France and the centennial of the start of World War I.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier had a place next to French President Francois Hollande at Wednesday's meeting and spoke of delicate efforts that seem like threading "the eye of the needle" to help Ukraine host May 25 presidential elections amid tensions with neighboring Russia.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he felt "something very moving" about Steinmeier's presence.

The two have already flown on several joint diplomatic missions together over the Ukraine crisis.