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Stronger EU means stronger NATO: Top EU diplomat

06:37 24 September 2021 Author :  

Reinforcing EU security and defense capacities would also make NATO stronger, the EU foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

“The stronger Europe will be, the stronger the NATO will be, because we are part of NATO,” Josep Borrell told the PBS NewsHour.

Borrell reaffirmed his previous thoughts on the necessity of reinforcing the bloc’s security and defense capacities and denied that a stronger Europe would mean a concern for the transatlantic military alliance.

Earlier this month, Borrell advocated for setting up a rapidly deployable 5,000-strong EU army and compared the latest developments in Afghanistan to “events that catalyze history, that create a breakthrough.”

In his interview with PBS, Borrell stressed that “the military capacity of the Europeans is a complement to NATO, a complement, not an alternative,” referring to the joint statement of US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

He also welcomed the announcement, and underlined that the two president’s reconciliatory statement was a good move to overcome the difficulties that the EU and the US recently experienced over the AUKUS alliance.

Last week, Australia canceled a $66-billion submarine deal with France after the new Indo-Pacific security pact was unveiled between the US, UK, and Australia.

Iran nuclear deal

Borrell also said he had met new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

He promised to do his best “to renew the deal, and the US to go back to the deal and the Iranians to fulfill fully their nuclear obligations.”

The EU diplomacy has made significant efforts to get Iran and the US back to the negotiation table since the beginning of the conflict between the two countries.

The Iran nuclear deal -- officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- was signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, and the EU.

Under the agreement, Tehran has committed to limit its nuclear activity to civilian purposes and in return, world powers agreed to drop their economic sanctions against Iran.

But the US, under the presidency of Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to stop complying with the nuclear deal./agencies

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