Nato row: meeting between Macron and Stoltenberg
In the run-up to the Nato summit next week in London, French President Macron and Nato Secretary General Stoltenberg met on Thursday for talks at the Elysée Palace. During the meeting Macron reiterated his criticism of the Alliance. Commentators also call for a debate on the organisation's future.
Who is the common enemy?
On the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty serious consideration should be put into giving it a new direction, La Vanguardia points out:
“This is not a cosy get-together to blow out the 70 candles on a cake. The whole world is already trying to influence the agenda and decisions of this probably historic summit. ... Macron has asked a number of important and opportune questions. Against whom must Nato defend itself in 2019? Who is the common enemy? Is there still room in the club for one of the key member states, Turkey, after the attack on Northern Syria? Paris wants to shift the focus from the threat posed by China or Russia and concentrate instead on the fight against jihadism.”
Some just refuse to understand
Macron is addressing those members of the Alliance who refuse to look at the reasons behind his "brain dead" remark, Delo believes:
“The first and most important reason is the complete lack of serious strategic cooperation between the transatlantic commander [the US] and the obedient soldiers in the EU. The result is a blind rush into a new cold war with Russia and the creation of an internal enemy in the form of Turkey. ... The claim that the Turkish intervention in Syria is proof of Nato's serious strategic and political problems is true. Yet it shouldn't be forgotten that Ankara merely repeated the US's unilateral action in Syria and is now defending itself against Nato's criticism and double standards with a blockade against the Alliance's anti-Russian strategy. Try finding someone who isn't yet brain dead in all this mess.”
Nato has little to celebrate next week in London, the pro-government daily Sabah observes:
“The different positions of France and Germany are only exacerbating the Alliance's internal problems. These differences have become clear 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Macron questions Nato's role in defending Europe. He insists vehemently on his proposal to strengthen the EU militarily and regarding security. After Brexit, this proposal would give France the opportunity to dominate the EU militarily. Merkel, on the other hand, deferred compliance with Trump's demand that member states increase their defence spending to two percent of GDP until 2030, saying that Nato must be strong together with the countries of Europe.”