France's Macron says his NATO "brain-death" comment "necessary wake-up call"
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 09:55, November 29, 2019
PARIS, Nov. 28 -- The "brain-death" comment on NATO has served as a "necessary wake-up call", French President Emmanuel Macron told a press conference along with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg after their talks at the Elysee Palace on Thursday.
"I totally assume to have raised ambiguity (with the claim that NATO is experiencing brain death)," said Macron. "A wake-up call was necessary."
In an interview earlier this month with The Economist magazine, Macron said the NATO is brain dead and called for a rapprochement with Russia and a pause of European Union enlargement.
Stoltenberg is in Paris to seek clarification from Macron in preparation for a NATO summit in London on Dec. 3-4.
After talks with Stoltenberg, Macron insisted that it is important for NATO to have robust dialogues with Russia.
He said European nations should be involved in talks to forge a new pact limiting mid-range nuclear missiles held by the U.S. and Russia.
France has not accepted the moratorium offered by Russia, Macron added, calling on European nations to join talks on this security issue.
"We can not delegate our security to a bilateral agreement where no European is involved," said Macron. "There should be European involvement in this future treaty."
He added that France would raise the issue at the NATO meeting in London next week.
In August, Russia formally announced the termination of the INF treaty signed in 1987, after the United States withdrew from it. Russia then called on the U.S. and other NATO members to implement a moratorium on deploying medium-range missiles.
The French president also said he is ready to review "all the strategic options" of France in West Africa's Sahel region and has asked his allies a "greater involvement" against "terrorism" in the region.
"Terrorism is the common enemy of NATO," he said. "All options are open. Greater involvement of allies would be quite beneficial."
Stoltenberg expressed condolence to France for the loss of 13 soldiers killed on the evening of Nov. 25 during an operation against militants in Mali.
The NATO chief said the foundations of the NATO are strong and the NATO will continue to modernize. "The European Union can not defend Europe on its own," Stoltenberg claimed.
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