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BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Monday criticism of the German chancellor by French President Francois Hollande's Socialists was not a reflection of the cooperation between the two governments.
"What counts for us is not the parties but working with governments such as the direct cooperation with the French president, prime minister Ayrault and the ministers," Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference.
"We consider German-French cooperation essential," he said, citing French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's attempt at the weekend to tone down the criticism contained in a Socialist party document that called the German leader "self-centred".
Reporting by Stephen Brown and Gernot Heller