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NATO chief admits failure in drawing EU closer - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has said he regrets not having been able to bring the military alliance and the EU closer together.

"I'm sad that at the end of my mandate as secretary general I have not been able to bring this relationship more forward than on a pragmatic basis. I hope that after the end of July my successor, NATO and the EU will have a fresh look and see how we can bring the parties together," Mr Scheffer said on Monday (26 January).

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) could succeed Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (right) as NATO secretary general

In his first public appearance since the Obama administration took office in Washington last week, Mr Scheffer gave a speech and answered questions at Security and Defence Agenda, a Brussels-based think-tank.

He mentioned Kosovo, where NATO and the EU work "side by side", but also highlighted "political reasons" for the difficult transatlantic relationship, as most European countries are part of both organisations.

The double membership means there are limited resources for sending troops to different EU and NATO missions.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 04:19:11 PM EST
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