French disengament from NATO?


Sarkozy and NATO, cartoon

Reuters reports:

Hollande orders French NATO command seat review

PARIS, July 18 – French President Francois Hollande has asked former foreign minister Hubert Vedrine to review France’s membership of NATO’s integrated military command, his office said on Wednesday, echoing unease about its place in the alliance’s inner circle.

Hollande has in the past expressed reservations about France’s 2009 return to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s integrated command, a move approved by his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who was one of the most pro-American presidents France has had in decades.

Hollande also asked fellow Socialist Vedrine, who opposed France’s return to NATO’s inner circle, to review France’s relationship with the United States over the next decade.

Vedrine is to report back by the end of October.

General Charles de Gaulle withdrew French forces from NATO’s command in 1966 at the height of the Cold War and forced the alliance’s headquarters to relocate from Paris and Fontainebleau the following year in protest at what he saw as U.S. hegemony in Europe.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Timidness over an escalating manufacturing jobs crisis at home and agreements reached at series of EU summits ostensibly designed to tackle the eurozone’s debt and banking crisis has meant Hollande now stands accused of backtracking on key election promises: here.

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