Chirac warns against turning NATO into the UN

29th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

RIGA, Nov 29, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned his NATO allies Wednesday against turning the alliance into a sort of United Nations by losing sight of its military vocation, his office said.

RIGA, Nov 29, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned his NATO allies Wednesday against turning the alliance into a sort of United Nations by losing sight of its military vocation, his office said.

At a summit in Latvia, Chirac said NATO was losing its "military nature" by operating further outside its traditional transatlantic area, conducting relief missions and trying to extend partnerships with countries across the world.

"The alliance's transformation must not modify its military nature but, on the contrary, reinforce the link between North Americans and Europeans that has guaranteed our collective security for more than 50 years," he said.

The United States is leading nations which want to transform NATO from a Cold War-era military machine set up to counter the Soviets, into a highly mobile organisation capable of dealing with crises wherever they may arise, even outside of Europe.

Chirac also rejected a US proposal to establish a "global partnership" with countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea which have been working closely with NATO in its operations in Afghanistan.

He told the leaders, during the working session on Wednesday, that it was "better to associate, case by case, with states that are ready to commit themselves on the ground with us," like in Afghanistan.

"But it is the United Nations which must remain the only political body with a universal vocation," Chirac said, and rejected any "useless duplication" of tasks better suited to other world bodies.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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