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Britain`s defense minister warns against isolationism

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Feb 7, IRNA -- Britain`s Defense Secretary Geoffrey Hoon 
Saturday in Munich warned against encouraging `isolationist 
tendencies` on both sides of the Atlantic as during the Iraq crisis. 
According to Hoon, who was speaking at the 40th international 
security conference in Munich, `some (countries) went out of their way
to push a European Union dimension as a counterweight to the defense 
relationship with the United States` during the Iraq crisis. 
"The dangerous consequence of policies that result in the 
polarization of US-EU relations is that it can feed misunderstanding 
and encourage isolationist tendencies on both sides of the Atlantic," 
the British diplomat said. 
Instead, Hoon said the differences of military and economic power 
could be `balances that shape our relationships`. 
"A transatlantic relationship need not be an equal one to be 
successful -- but it does require a common understanding of the 
challenges we face and a common purpose to meet them together," Hoon 
Other keynote speakers at the 40th annual security conference were
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, German Minister of Defense Peter
Struck and Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov. 
Some 250 ministers, senior officials and defense experts from 
over 30 countries are taking part in the two-day conference which 
will focus on the future of transatlantic ties, NATO and developments 
in the Middle East. 

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