Published On: Fri, Nov 8th, 2019

EU divided: Macron grandstanding infuriates Merkel – ‘He’s chosen drastic words’ | UK | News

The German Chancellor rejected Mr Macron’s “sweeping blow” against the transatlantic alliance that sparked the rift ahead of a crunch summit in the coming weeks. The two leaders will take part in the London summit on December 3-4, making Nato’s 70th anniversary. Responding to the French President’s comments, Mrs Merkel said: “The French President has chosen drastic words.

“That is not my view of co-operation inside Nato… even if we do have problems and even though we do have to get our act together.

“From a German perspective, Nato is in our interest. It is in our security alliance.”

The rift was opened after Mr Macron gave an interview to the Economist magazine, in which he criticised Nato and claimed the alliance was suffering “brain death” because of Donald Trump.

The French leader said: “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato.”

He added: “You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its Nato allies. None.

“You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another Nato ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake.”

Mr Macron complained that Europe was suffering “exceptional fragility” because of Mr Trump’s move towards US unilateralism.

He said repeat attacks on the alliance by Donald Trump meant Nato members must acknowledge “the instability of our American partners”.

The US President has previously branded Nato “obsolete” and often criticises Germany for its lack of defence spending.

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg rubbished the Frenchman’s criticism that Europe needed more military sovereignty.

“Any attempt to distance Europe from North America risks not only to weak the alliance and the transatlantic bond but also to divide Europe. Therefore we have to stand together,” he said.

He added European Nato members were increasing their defence spending and the US was increasing its presence on the Continent.

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also sprung to defence of Nato, insisting European members should meet spending targets of two percent of GDP on defence.

He said: “Europe does need to wake up to the common security challenges we all face.

“But the answer is for all European countries to meet their commitments to spending two percent of GDP on defence – the surest way to reinforce rather than weaken the transatlantic relationship.”

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EU divided: Macron grandstanding infuriates Merkel – ‘He’s chosen drastic words’ | UK | News