Macron urged to ‘break off’ from Nato as French MP attacks alliance stuck in ‘another era’.

Macron and President Trump
Not so friendly now – Macron and President Trump

French leftwing politician Adrien Quatennens on Tuesday described Nato as obsolete, saying that France had to “break” from the alliance in order to achieve political autonomy. “Nato is indeed an alliance from another era,” M Quatennens, a senior member of the leftist La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, told France Info radio. He added: “The Cold War is over. What interest do we have in being affiliated to the United States and its warmongering ways?”

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He urged Emmanuel Macron’s government to “break off from Nato” and seek “geopolitical autonomy” in a bid to turn France into a “global mediating power”.

The hard-left MP was commenting on M Macron’s recent claim that Nato is “brain dead,” a blunt diagnosis that upset France’s Nato allies.

“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato,” the 41-year-old centrist told The Economist in an interview published last month.

In the interview, M Macron deplored a lack of coordination between Europe and the US and slammed recent military action in Syria by Turkey, a key member of the US-led security alliance.

He said: “You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its Nato allies. None.”

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M Macron stood by his criticism as he arrived in London for a crunch summit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the military alliance on Tuesday, stressing that Nato’s real problem was its failure to find a clear purpose since the end of the Cold War.

M Macron said in a message posted on Twitter: “My statements on Nato triggered some reactions. I do stand by them.

“It is a burden we share: we can’t put money and pay the cost of our soldiers’ lives without being clear on the fundamentals of what Nato should be.”

His sharp message came shortly after President Donald Trump described his Nato remarks as “very nasty” and “insulting” and questioned whether the US military should defend any countries that were “delinquent” on alliance targets for national military spending.

He added: “It’s not right to be taken advantage of on Nato… We can’t let that happen.”

President Trump elaborated on his comments during a joint press conference with Mr Macron ahead of the summit, saying that “nobody needs Nato more than France”.

Paris and Washington have long been at odds over Nato’s purpose – France refused to back the 2003 war in Iraq – but the new tensions will add to doubts over the alliance’s future that have grown with Mr Trump’s ambiguity over US commitments to defend Europe.

Though M Macron has launched initiatives to boost Europe’s defence capabilities, he says they can only complement rather than replace Nato.

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