NATO-Germany Meeting: Steinmeier and Stoltenberg back initiative to create EU armed forces

18:30 Sep. 2, 2016

Steinmeier and Stoltenberg back initiative to create EU armed forces

German Minister for Foreign Affairs , Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a press conference at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 2, 2016 (AP Photo)

NATO and EU should rather complement each other - NATO official says 

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg supported the initiative of Hungary and the Czech Republic on closer military cooperation between EU countries up to establishing joint armed forces, Deutsche Welle reports

"Really, it was like a fresh wind blowing in this debate - not only from Eastern Europe and not only regarding creation of the European army," DW refers to Reuters quoting Steinmeier as saying on Friday, September 2, after meeting Stoltenberg in Berlin.

The minister said, his French and Italian counterparts also support this idea.

Steinmeier says the creation of the European army is a far-reaching goal.

"NATO and the EU face the same security challenges, therefore the closer cooperation is beneficial to all," DW quotes Stoltenberg as saying.

Read also Terrorism is not only challenge NATO faces, there is also challenge from Russia – Stoltenberg

He added, the structures should not be overlapping - NATO and the EU should rather complement each other.

In late August, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said they are in favour of an initiative to create the EU joint armed forces.

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