Macron meets Pompeo and calls for European independence | News | DW

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French President Emmanuel Macron met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday for closed-door talks in Paris in what Macron’s office called a “courtesy” visit.The US State Department said Pompeo and Macron “discussed significant threats to global security, efforts to counter violent extremism.” These included Iran’s “destabilizing” behavior and Hezbollah’s “malicious influence” in Lebanon.

Pompeo, who has firmly defended US President Donald Trump and called for a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” also stressed the importance of NATO unity and tackling the growing influence of China.

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The meeting between Macron and Pompeo came after France had already recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the US presidential election. While Trump and his supporters still say the election was “stolen” and have alleged widespread electoral fraud, most world leaders have recognized Biden as the winner.

No press conference was held after the low-key talks, although Pompeo said the EU and the US must work together to address Turkey’s “very aggressive” foreign policy.

“Europe and the United States must work together to convince Erdogan that such actions are not in the interest of his people,” Pompeo told the French newspaper. Le Figaro, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After Paris, Pompeo will travel to Istanbul, as well as Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Georgia.

Macron calls for greater EU independence

Ahead of the meeting, Macron criticized the UN Security Council and called on European nations to show greater independence in an interview with the Parisian magazine. The Great Continent.

“I must say that the UN Security Council is no longer producing useful solutions today,” Macron said. France is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council alongside the United States, China, Russia and Great Britain.

“We must reinvent useful forms of cooperation – coalitions of projects and actors – and we must modernize our structures and create a level playing field for all,” Macron said. “To do this, we also need to reconsider the terms of the relationship: I think the second way forward is a strong and political Europe. ”

His remarks follow a pre-electoral American politico-editorial written by German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, calling for enhanced cooperation between Europe and the United States: “Illusions of European strategic autonomy must stop: Europeans cannot replace America’s crucial role as a security provider, ”Kramp-Karrenbauer wrote.

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Macron called Kramp-Karrenbauer’s comments a “historic misrepresentation” and said he “deeply disagreed” with the idea that European strategic autonomy was an illusion.

“Fortunately, if I understood things correctly, the Chancellor does not share this point of view,” Macron wrote. “But the United States will only respect us as allies if we are serious and if we are sovereign in our defense. “

‘We are not the USA’

The push to encourage European countries to spend more on defense and do more in NATO has been a theme of Donald Trump’s presidency, but it also dates back to previous US administrations, which encouraged similar measures, though. than with a softer tone. But Europeans often argue over how to achieve this and what degree of autonomy is desirable.

Offering additional support for his efforts for greater European sovereignty, Macron said American and French values ​​”are not quite the same.”

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“I am sure of one thing: we are not the United States of America,” he said. “We have, for example, a preference for equality which is not found in the United States of America… We have an attachment to social democracy, to more equality, our reactions are not the same. I also believe that culture is more important here, much more. ”

Regarding the recent US elections, however, Macron called Joe Biden’s run as president of opportunity work on mutual understanding that “we Europeans continue to build our own autonomy, just like the United States. and China are doing it for themselves ”.

This is not the first time that Macron has called for greater European independence. Macron sparked controversy last year when he called NATO’s defense pact “brain dead” in the middle of Trump’s tenure.

lc / rs (AFP, dpa, AP)



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