After proclaiming " brain death" of the Atlantic Alliance in The Economist Emmanuel Macron will try a resuscitation. The head of state is expected Tuesday and Wednesday in London, where he will attend the NATO summit with twenty-eight other heads of state and government. The rendezvous was to be formal to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Cold War era treaty to ensure the security of the continent between the United States and Europe. The birthday will turn into a text explanation. "This summit comes in an international context and within the alliance that requires a series of clarifications"they say at the Elysee. The president wants to "Engage the debate", we add. After his statements criticizing abruptly the functioning of NATO and the lack of coordination between allies, Emmanuel Macron will also have to explain.
Before the summit itself Wednesday, the President of the Republic will meet with his American counterpart Donald Trump Tuesday early afternoon. Then he will attend a four-way meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, in front of them, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the reception given by Queen Elizabeth II, Emmanuel Macron will again meet Angela Merkel to prepare the meeting "Normandy", scheduled for December 9 with Vladimir Putin to address the Ukrainian crisis.
The agenda gives an idea of the topics to be addressed: the American unpredictability, the only Turkish rider, the relationship with Russia … "We can not forget the first duty of the allies: to talk to each other, to consult each other, so that everyone's security interests are taken into account", it is said at the Élysée, by reformulating the criticisms expressed by the Head of State in The Economist : a crisis of confidence in NATO. "The military alliance works and promotes interoperability between armies. But we must also ask ourselves questions. All NATO members do not look in the same direction. It's important to have the same understanding of threats "adds another advisor to the head of state. "Some people think that Russia is a threat, others buy it energy", arguably, with reference to the gas pipeline project that will connect Russia to Germany.
The subjects of tension should focus however on Turkey: the offensive in Syria against the Kurds to the acquisition of S400 system from Russia, Ankara provocative. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even blocked the adoption of a defense plan for Poland and the Baltic States. He also attacked Emmanuel Macron directly, whom he found in "brain death". "These are not statements but insults"we have replied in the entourage of the Head of State. "Turkey to give the answers its allies are waiting for", we observe.
The desire to be on the offensive of the president does not detract from his isolation. By firing the shot against NATO, he rushed his allies. "Macron thinks that to start a debate you have to start by breaking the table"regrets an observer, who knows him well. Even though the diagnosis of the NATO crises is shared, this is not the method that prevails within the Alliance. Angela Merkel lamented a formula "Cookie cutter". However, to face the attacks of Macron, Berlin proposed the establishment of a working group to reflect on NATO's strategic directions. "The interview got its effect", they say at the Elysee, taking note of this strategic review.
But by spreading the fragilities of NATO in the public square, the head of state also weakens the building. "Anything that casts doubt on the operation of Article 5 (on solidarity among allies, Ed) is dangerous. It's a negative signal to our allies and adversaries "says Tomas Jermalavicius, defense expert at the ICDS Institute in Tallinn, Estonia. "Some discussions need to stay behind the scenes", he believes. By questioning the strength of the alliance, Emmanuel Macron contributes to weaken it.
The head of state is also expected on the Russian question. Wishing to revive the dialogue with Moscow, Emmanuel Macron has taken the opposite footing of a number of allies, worried about Moscow's appetite for power. "There are two optionswe reply to the Elysee. The posture, where risks go up without being treated, or diplomacy. " In seeking the path of dialogue with Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron wants to respond to the challenge posed by the end of the FNI treaty on intermediate nuclear forces.
Moscow's violations led the United States to withdraw from the agreement, leaving Europeans alone to face the threat. "Europeans can not be spectators of their security"they say at the Elysee. Vladimir Putin proposed "a moratorium" on intermediate-range missiles. Emmanuel Macron replied without saying neither yes nor no. "We can have doubts, it does not prevent to discuss", explains one. But to discuss, it is still necessary to have confidence in his interlocutors.
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