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Merkel says disagrees with Macron on NATO

Merkel says disagrees with Macron on NATO”

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation plays no role in Syria, apart from helping the coalition fighting the Islamic State extremist group but the move was seen by Turkey, another North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, as a green light to invade the region.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also rejected the characterisation during a joint news conference in Berlin.

He says President Donald Trump "doesn't share our idea of the European project" and that the USA shows signs of "turning its back on us", notably by unexpectedly pulling its troops out of northern Syria.

Mr Stoltenberg said in reference to the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling: "The reunification of Germany and Europe would have been impossible without the United States's security guarantee".

"Europe has forgotten that it is a community, by increasingly thinking of itself as a market, with expansion as its end goal", said Macron, who recently blocked expanding the European Union further to include two more Balkan states.

Mr Macron defended France's controversial decision to unilaterally block European Union enlargement in the Western Balkans, arguing that it was "absurd" to open up the European Union to new members before reforming accession procedures, although he said that he would be prepared to reconsider if such conditions were met.

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"We need to reopen a strategic dialogue, without being naive and which will take time, with Russian Federation", said Macron, who is seeking to broker an end to the conflict in Ukraine and has courted President Vladimir Putin as a partner.

"The reunification of Germany and Europe would have been impossible without the United States", he said. Macron said it was crucial to seek a rapprochement with Moscow, and praised Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, who is close to the Kremlin. "None", charged the French president.

He added that Europe stands on "the edge of a precipice" and must start thinking like a geopolitical power, otherwise it will "no longer be in control of our destiny".

"Any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken the transatlantic alliance, it also risks dividing Europe itself."

He also said he wanted European nations to break the "taboo" against using deficits to stimulate growth and investment, and scrap a strict limit on eurozone deficits.

Macron said it was a time of turmoil with Europe losing track of history, the USA aligning more closely with China and authoritarian powers emerging in its neighborhood.



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