'No alarm' at NATO over Chirac nuclear warning

20th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Jan 20, 2006 (AFP) - NATO is "not alarmed" by French President Jacques Chirac's threat of nuclear retaliation to a "terrorist" attack on France, an alliance source said on Friday.

BRUSSELS, Jan 20, 2006 (AFP) - NATO is "not alarmed" by French President Jacques Chirac's threat of nuclear retaliation to a "terrorist" attack on France, an alliance source said on Friday.

The military alliance declined to comment publicly on the threat by Chirac. But the source pointed out that the remarks appeared broadly in line with NATO's nuclear policy, which stresses its role as a political deterrent.

"I've not detected any alarm or frustration," said the source, requesting anonymity, when asked about views within the 26-nation alliance following Chirac's comments on Thursday.

He noted that NATO's nuclear policy was one of deterrence. "The role of nuclear weapons is fundamentally political and not directed towards a specific threat," he said.

"If you look at what President Chirac said I don't think he was mentioning a specific country either. He was also talking about the political significance but also in the context of the security challenges as they are today in which terrorism is a pretty major issue," he added.

In comments during a visit to a nuclear base in France's northwestern region of Brittany, Chirac on Thursday for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike on any state that launches "terrorist" attacks against France.

He also said France's doctrine of nuclear deterrence has been extended to protect the country's "strategic supplies", taken to mean oil.

"Leaders of any state that uses terrorist means against us, as well as any that may be envisaging — in one way or another — using weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would be exposing themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our behalf," he said.

"That response could be conventional. It could also be of another nature," Chirac said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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