NATO chief to meet French leader as tensions mount

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BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he will travel to Paris next week for talks with President Emmanuel Macron after the French leader lamented the “brain death” of the military alliance.

Macron’s public criticism of NATO has shaken the alliance. His remarks were rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel the day after they were published in The Economist. Senior U.S. and European officials have joined the chorus.

Stoltenberg says the best way to resolve differences “is to sit down and to discuss them and to fully understand the messages and the motivations.”

He says the world needs “strong, multilateral institutions like NATO and therefore we should strengthen NATO, not weaken NATO.”

Stoltenberg warned that “if we distance Europe from North America, we weaken NATO, but we also divide Europe.”