Emmanuel Macron's NATO 'brain dead' comment: It's served as a 'wake-up call', says French president

Emmanuel Macron's NATO 'brain dead' comment: It's served as a 'wake-up call', says French president

Emmanuel Macron has stood by his damning comments about the "brain death" of NATO following a meeting with the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Speaking in Paris on Thursday, the French president said he thought the alliance needed "a wake-up call", and that he was "pretty glad" about the outcome.

"I fully stand by what I did in lifting the ambiguities," he said during a joint press conference with Stoltenberg.

He added: "We had the responsibility of not simply continuing to talk about financial issues given what the genuine challenges are today."

Earlier in the conference, Stoltenberg insisted the NATO alliance remained "strong" as allies were "doing more together than they have for decades".

He maintained that it was natural for the 29 members to have their differences, adding that a future focus would be placed on efforts to "modernise" the treaty.

It comes after Macron heavily criticised the transatlantic treaty in an interview with The Economist last month — a comment that sparked criticisms from fellow members.

Stoltenberg later rejected the notion during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and warned Macron — who is known for his desire for a European army — that "European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity".

The Norwegian then reiterated his point in the press conference on Thursday.

The latest meeting between the two leaders comes ahead of a further summit between NATO members in London on December 3-4.

Macron and Stoltenberg said the alliance would look toward redefining its purpose and its ultimate goals, including looking toward tackling a common enemy — terrorism.

 

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