Sarkozy: France is taking on full NATO role
President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Saturday in front of 27 fellow NATO leaders at their 60th anniversary summit that France was resuming "its full role in the alliance."STRASBOURG - Confirming to France's allies his plan to reverse his predecessor Charles de Gaulle's 1966 decision to pull out of NATO's integrated military command, Sarkozy said: "We want to be friends, and allies that stand tall.
"We are members of the family, we are in the family, we are allies, we have convictions," he declared, to the opening session of formal talks at the NATO summit in the French city of Strasbourg.
France, a founder member of the alliance, never left NATO's political structure, but has stood aside from the military command despite taking part in recent years in missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Sarkozy announced last month that he intended to take France back into the command, despite fierce domestic opposition to a move that some see as giving up its ability to act independently of the United States.