Merkel, NATO chief reject Macron's view NATO is dying

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron

"The French President has chosen drastic words".

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed Thursday that recent US troop movements in Syria are contributing to the "brain death" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance. She described the alliance as "irreplaceable".

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. "The U.S.is not decreasing its presence in Europe but actually increasing its presence in Europe".

The situation in northern Syria is indeed puzzling for NATO: Turkey is a member of the alliance, but the U.S. has threatened it and even briefly imposed sanctions over its actions on the Kurdish-controlled Turkish-Syrian border. "It's a real question".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and many allies want to project an image of unity at the summit at a time of rising Chinese military might and what NATO leaders see as Russian attempts to undermine Western democracies through cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and covert operations. He demanded they double NATO's defence spending goal of 2% of economic output, set in 2014. The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump also wrong-footed the allies by announcing a troop draw-down in Afghanistan and then declaring that peace talks with the Taliban were cancelled after a bomb attack killed a US soldier.

Timberwolves endure rim fix delay, then thorough 134-106 stomping by Bucks
Antetokounmpo was asked after the game whether he had noticed the crooked rim and offered a humorous response. After the new rim was put up, both teams received seven minutes to continue warming up.

Still, Trump, has pushed traditional allies away in pursing his "America First" agenda.

"Look at what is happening in the world", he said.

In his interview, he also said the United States was showing signs of "turning its back on us", as demonstrated by Trump's sudden decision last month to pull troops out of northeastern Syria without consulting the allies, the French leader said. The EU, the United States and other Western allies have imposed a series of economic sanctions on Russian Federation after it annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

In an early sign of how the French president would like to see an autonomous European foreign policy change priorities, he has called for re-engagement with Russian Federation, still under EU sanctions for its annexation of Crimea and military support for insurgents in Eastern Ukraine.

Macron argued that Europe could do this if "it accelerates the development of European defence". He said he saw Europe as a balancing power between others: "to put it very simply, we have the right not to be outright enemies with our friends' enemies".

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