Europe-US coordination needed, says French minister

8th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, March 8 (AFP) - To deal with the troubles looming in the world, the United States and Europe need to "act in coordination" and use both "the military stick and the diplomatic carrot," French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie wrote Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

WASHINGTON, March 8 (AFP) - To deal with the troubles looming in the world, the United States and Europe need to "act in coordination" and use both "the military stick and the diplomatic carrot," French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie wrote Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

Welcoming the improvement in transatlantic relations since US President George W. Bush's visit to Europe last month, Alliot-Marie said the time had come to tackle "a whole raft of complex problems".

Only through "close consultation" can Washington and Europe deal with "terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the growing number of regional conflicts ... the environment, population movements and pandemics that lie outside the realm of defence," she said in a written commentary.

"It is vital for Europeans and Americans to hold in-depth strategic dialogue on all these issues to prevent a repeat of past errors and to allow us to act in coordination," added the French defence minister.

"I strongly believe that to deal with the crises and threats confronting us, we need both the military stick and the diplomatic carrot," she said, before defending Europe's intention to develop rapid-response battle groups.

"France is a driving force in European integration and in strengthening European defence," Alliot-Marie said. "Its vision is that of a strong Europe, contributing to world stability alongside the United States.

"The development of "Defence Europe" will strengthen NATO's capacities and benefit the transatlantic link. We are not in competition. We complement each other.

"I am convinced that this message is being better understood on this side of the Atlantic. The statements by President Bush in Brussels, (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice in Paris and (US Defence Secretary) Donald Rumsfeld in Nice show it.

"The ground is now ready for a new partnership between the United States and Europe to which France will actively contribute. I will do my part in this," she concluded.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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