16 November 2009 - EUROPEAN NATO COUNTRIES SHOULD BE MORE UNITED, SAYS GERMAN GENERAL
NATO allies need to speak with a more united voice if they wish to maintain the balance of transatlantic relations, said retired German general Klaus Naumann. Speaking to NATO’s Parliamentary Committee, convened over the weekend in Edinburgh, the former chairman of NATO’s military committee warned that internal divisions within the Alliance “risk eroding the very basis of NATO which is and will remain collective defence”.
In a warmly received presentation, frequently interrupted by applause from the delegates representing all NATO allies and around 50 partner countries, General Naumann stressed the importance of a coherent NATO policy.
The Americans cannot automatically be counted on for support by
Europe should improve its solidarity with the
However, he recognised that “one of the abiding problems of European support” is maintaining close transatlantic ties without alienating
“If Europe and the US acted in unison and avoided taking unilateral decisions which Russia subjectively perceives as humiliating and as a deadly blow to its strategic interests then there might be a chance for a new beginning in NATO/Russia relations” he said.
He also called for the
Closing the discussion, General Naumann also described how, as chairman of NATO’s military committee, he has shaken hands with the then Russian chief of staff, knowing that both had lost their fathers in the Second World War. “Our common conviction was, it must never happen again. And that is what drives me, I’m trying to find ways how we can accommodate legitimate Russian security interests, while at the same time… pursue politics that are not directed against [
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which brings together some 350 delegates from 28 NATO member states and other partner countries, is currently holding its Annual Session in