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NATO Chief Says European Defense Drive Must Not Hurt Transatlantic Ties

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has cautioned the alliance's European members not to endanger the transatlantic defense bond, following an exchange between U.S. President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Trump had tweeted on November 9 that Macron's call for a "real European army" was "insulting" after the French leader spoke about the need for a European army and listed the United States along with Russia and China as a threat to European security.

Without referring specifically to Macron's call for a European army, Stoltenberg said he welcomed stronger EU efforts on defense that could make NATO stronger.

But he warned European members against duplicating NATO's activity and undermining the alliance's relationship with the United States.

"More European efforts on defense is great but it should never undermine the strength of the transatlantic bond," Stoltenberg told a forum in Berlin.

With reporting by AFP