PARIS – Europe must stop being foolish in defending its interests and building its own military capabilities, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday after Greece signed a French frigate deal worth nearly billion 1 billion (3.5 3.5.51 billion).
France was plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis earlier this month over a tripartite nuclear security deal with the United States, Australia and Britain that sank a multi-billion-dollar French-designed submarine deal with Canberra.
This has led to many soul-searching over his traditional theological alliance in Paris. Speaking for the first time on the issue, Macron took the opportunity on Tuesday to call for more European autonomy as Washington gradually redesigns its interests toward China and the Indo-Pacific region.
“Europeans must stop being stupid. When we are under the pressure of power, which is sometimes tough [their stance], We need to respond and show that we have the ability and capacity to defend ourselves. Not to escalate things, but to protect ourselves, ”Macron told a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“It simply came to our notice then. This is not a replacement, but rather taking responsibility for the European pillar within NATO and concluding that we have been told to protect ourselves.
Under Tuesday’s deal, Athens agreed to buy three frigates for ড 1 billion, including the option to buy a fourth, a Greek government source told Reuters.
The deal, part of a larger strategic military and defense cooperation agreement, came after Athens ordered 224 Rafale fighter jets already made by Dassault earlier this year, making it the first EU country to buy warplanes.
“It will hold us together for decades,” Mitsotakis said. “It opens the door to tomorrow’s Europe that is strong and autonomous, capable of defending its interests.”
Asked if the agreement risked escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, Macron said the agreement did not specifically target any country, but Greece, because it needed to protect its borders outside the European Union.
“I don’t get the feeling that in the summer of 2020, Greece was the Belize in the eastern Mediterranean,” Macron said, referring to Turkish intervention in the region.
“As Europeans, it is our duty to show solidarity with the member countries. It is legitimate that we are committed to equipping it to ensure that its territorial integrity is respected and we are committed to cooperating to protect it in the event of intrusion, attack or aggression, ”he said.
By John Irish
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times