France tells NATO not to be afraid of EU defense plans

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French Defense Minister Florence Parly told her NATO counterparts not to be afraid of the European Union's plans to develop the defense project.

She said such a project would strengthen the NATO alliance and that the United States would also benefit.

Her comments, made during a meeting of NATO defense ministers, are aimed at ending insecurity within NATO.

There have been concerns that the EU's attempt to develop its defense project would be a NATO rivalry.

"When I hear some statements about European defense, including within this organization, I tell them: do not be afraid," said Parly.

"European defense is not being built in opposition to NATO, on the contrary: a stronger Europe will contribute to a stronger alliance," she added.

The French minister echoed a statement issued after a meeting between US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron in September, in which they said they "recognize the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, which contributes positively to transatlantic and global security ”.

Of the 27 EU member states, 21 are members of NATO.

NATO has 30 member states, but the United States has long said the European bloc needs to do more to manage crises on its borders.

In March next year, the EU intends to agree on a strategic military document to identify future threats, focusing on weapons development together, as well as envisaging the creation of a new EU military force. which would intervene in the crisis.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters last month that he supported the European Union's plans to build a common defense policy, but he warned against any rapid reaction force that could force NATO allies. to double operations./21Media