Obama hails France's return to NATO military command

22nd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

US President Barack Obama on Saturday said he "enthusiastically" welcomed France back into NATO's military command, which Paris left 43 years ago.

WASHINGTON - "I enthusiastically welcome the decision made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to fully reintegrate France into the NATO Alliance," Obama said in a statement.

Obama added that "Sarkozy's leadership has been essential and is much appreciated.

France is a founding member of NATO and has been a strong contributor to NATO missions throughout the Alliance's history.

So "France's full participation in the NATO military command structure will further contribute to a stronger Alliance and a stronger Europe," Obama added.

"I also welcome the further strengthening of European defense capabilities," Obama said.

"During my upcoming visit to France and Germany for the 60th Anniversary NATO Summit, I look forward to discussing ways to ensure that our strengthened Alliance, with France as a full participant in all its structures, will be as important in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century."

AFP / Expatica

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