Merkel Scolds Macron for ‘NATO Is Brain Dead’ Comment
Merkel deems Macron’s words “drastic” and a “sweeping attack” on the Alliance.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has in effect scolded publicly French President Emmanuel Macron for his recent comment that “NATO is brain dead”.
Macron’s controversial comment came earlier this week in an interview for The Economist, in which he also said he didn’t know if he believed in NATO’s collective security commitment as stipulated by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Macron said in the interview.
“[NATO members] should reassess the reality of what NATO is in light of the commitment of the United States,” he added.
Speaking on Thursday, however, Merkel, alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, expressed clear-cut disagreement with Macron on the “brain death” of the North Atlantic alliance.
“Such a sweeping attack [on NATO] is not necessary,” the German Chancellor declared on Thursday, as cited by DW.
She further described Macron’s statement as “drastic words” that she did not agree with, and she reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to its role within NATO.
“This view does not correspond to mine,” Merkel added, describing NATO the “cornerstone of security” for Germany.
Asked about the controversial moves of NATO member Turkey such as its recent military operation in Syria, the German leader argued that kicking Turkey out of the alliance would achieve little.
“We have to foster dialogue and remain on speaking terms,” she stated.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who is visiting Berlin to attend events for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, said that Germany was “at the heart of NATO”.
“We have to stand together,” he argued, calling for unity of the Alliance in troubled times, while welcoming the commitment of German Defense Minister and Merkel favorite Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to increase Germany’s defense spending.
“The reunification of Germany and Europe would have been impossible without the United States’ security guarantee,” said Stoltenberg earlier on Thursday.
“Any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken the transatlantic alliance, it also risks dividing Europe itself,” elaborated the NATO chief, who has previously been credited with keeping a skeptical Trump onside in the North Atlantic pact.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also visiting Germany this week, stressed the important of the NATO alliance.
“I think NATO remains an important, critical, perhaps historically one of the most critical, strategic partnerships in all of recorded history,” Pompeo told reporters in the eastern city of Leipzig.
(Banner image: Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter)