German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected French President Emmanuel Macron's view, who recently claimed that the NATO alliance was witnessing a "brain death". However, Merkel replied saying that there was no need for such 'sweeping judgments'. Macron has criticized a lack of strategic coordination between the United States and other NATO allies over the invasion of Syria last month by Turkey. He says that the US is “turning back” since the attack on Syria was done without nay consultation with the allies and the European members “should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment o the US”.
After the talks with the transatlantic defense alliance Jens Stoltenberg, Merkel says, “The French president chose drastic words. That is not my view of cooperation in NATO and I think that such a sweeping blow is not necessary, even if we do have problems, even if we must pull together."
President Macron further charged that there is no coordination of strategic decision-making between the US and its NATO allies. In an interview with an international media outlet, he suggested that Europe must become autonomous in terms of military strategy and capability as he believes that Europe is exceptionally fragile because of the US unilateralism under President Trump. Macron also says that Trump “doesn't share the same idea of the European project”. Merkel and Stoltenberg have however disagreed with Macron.
Merkel says, "We in Europe certainly must take our fate in our hands a bit more, but the trans-Atlantic alliance is indispensable for us and I think there are many areas in which NATO works well."
Stoltenberg added, "We have to remember that any attempt to distance Europe from North America risks not only weaken the alliance, the trans-Atlantic bond, but also to divide Europe, so therefore we have to stand together. I welcome European unity, I welcome efforts to strengthen European defense, but European unity cannot replace trans-Atlantic unity.”
The US secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has also dismissed Macron's remark. He says, "I think NATO remains an important, critical, perhaps historically one of the most critical strategic partnerships in all of recorded history. It is an absolute imperative that every country participate and join in and contribute appropriately to achieving that shared security mission,"
(With agency inputs)