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Macron calls for renewed strategic dialogue with Russia

Macron calls for renewed strategic dialogue with Russia
French president addresses multiple international issues at Munich Security Conference

By Cindi Cook
PARIS (AA) - French president Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called for a fresh European perspective and a renewed strategic dialogue with Russia.
In a morning address of the Munich Security Conference, Mr. Macron sat down for a question and answer session with German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the conference, and spoke about Russia, Europe’s strategy and a renewed European outlook.
"The strategy with Russia needs to rest on the opportunity to have a dialogue. We need to be able to talk about external conflict like Syria. What happened in Idlib is not acceptable," Macron said.
"We need to be more demanding, never leave our position, but we need a strategic dialogue. We talk less and less but have more and more conflicts. Such an approach needs time," he added.
Macron also acknowledged a certain weakness of the West, mentioning “altered values,” especially on the part of the U.S.
"American policies have changed in the last few years […] We have to take that into account," he said.
The president was of the opinion that one of the core problems was the ability to address the “European perspective”.
"I think we are facing the hour of truth here. Europe offers us the possibility to protect our values, our priorities. We have a lot in common with the U.S. but this is not quite the same as what America wants," he said.
Macron recognized that the policies adhered to by Europe are not transatlantic ones.
"We do not have the same geographical conditions, the same idea of social equilibrium," he added.
He also emphasized that the common security in Europe has two pillars: NATO and a Europe of defense.
"If we do not have the ability to act, in terms of foreign policy, then we will not be credible, especially when it comes to the United States," Macron said.
As to the topic of nuclear defense, the president spoke about a framework that included the conduct of joint exercises.
"The goal on it is a joint strategic culture. France believes in a Europe of defense. We are willing to walk down that path to come to a new strategic dialogue," he added.

source: News Feed
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