Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Euroarmy threatens US-dominated Nato: " In Brussels last week, the French president made it clear that Paris and Berlin are determined to push ahead with this [the Euroarmy] – preferably with Britain, but not necessarily. “Our British friends have reservations about the creation of a bigger, more independent operation,” he said. “We are continuing our discussions, but we are determined to go ahead with this: there cannot be a Europe without its own defence system.”

"British officials, in a panic, dashed around the touchlines of the EU summit protesting that any new European defence structures would “complement” Nato, not undermine it. “Nothing whatsoever must put at risk our essential defence guarantees at Nato,” said Tony Blair. But the Americans are truly rattled by all this. The US ambassador to Nato, at a tense meeting in the alliance’s Brussels headquarters last week, described the French-German moves as “the most serious threat to Nato’s future”. He demanded an emergency meeting of Nato ambassadors tomorrow, at which he will try to establish where Europe’s going on defence."

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