Berlin (AP) - Following the sharp criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron at NATO, Germany wants to put the political vote in the alliance to the test.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) wants to propose on Wednesday at a NATO meeting in Brussels, the establishment of an expert commission. The committee will be chaired by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and commissioned to close the "gap of political discussion in the Alliance".
After Macron fundamental criticism and the resulting insecurity in many allies, there could be no simple "keep it up!", It was said on Tuesday from the Foreign Office. "Otherwise we run the risk of further deepening the uncertainty in the Alliance and to promote a split that may be happy third parties."
Macron recently certified "brain death" to NATO. There is no coordination between the US and other NATO partners in strategic decisions, he told The Economist. He demanded more European autonomy and warned that the US was no longer a reliable partner. Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed Macron's comments as exaggerated.
Maas' proposal takes up the criticism of Macron. Other triggers for the initiative include non-NATO unilateral US and Turkish unilateral measures in Syria. The US had withdrawn from northern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG, which met with criticism from almost all other allies.
"After Macron's speech and after the uncoordinated action of the Americans and Turks in Syria, it is obvious to Minister Maas that such a discussion about the great strategic lines must be urgently lacking and guided," it now says from the Foreign Office. "We also hear from partners, including France, that there is a similar thought."
The proposal is coordinated according to the Foreign Office in the Federal Government. According to Maas' ideas, the appointment of the expert group could already be decided at the forthcoming NATO summit in London on 3 and 4 December. She would then be given the task of presenting results until the next summit. The should take place sometime after the US presidential election on 3 November 2020. The Commission should include senior figures, such as former foreign and defense ministers or top officials.
The main objective is to stop the ongoing tightening of NATO's defense tasks and to strengthen its political function. It should again become a central platform of close political coordination on strategic issues. "NATO is an alliance of values and has always been a political place. A place where foreign and security policy strategies were discussed and planned across the Atlantic », said the Foreign Office.