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France to rejoin NATO command structure

Latest update : 2009-02-04

After 40 years outside the NATO command structure, France is expected to fully reintegrate into the organisation. Pais is hoping for the command of two major NATO structures, but military officers say it is not yet a done deal.

AFP - France has no guarantee yet that it will be given command of two major NATO structures if it fully reintegrates into the alliance, a NATO military officer said Wednesday.
  
The officer said, on condition of anonymity, that a French general could be appointed to head NATO's Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, and a general could take over a regional command in Lisbon.
  
"All we can say today is that these are the two posts the United States is ready to give up and that France is ready to take them over," he said, confirming a report in French newspaper Le Monde.
  
"France is not necessarily the only one in line and the discussions about the revision of staff at the headquarters are not over," he said, adding that NATO allies could make an initial decision in around two weeks.
  
President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to announce France's return to NATO's command structure at a summit in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany, in April, reversing Charles de Gaulle's decision to pull out in 1966.
  
France remains an important member of NATO and is a major contributor to its missions.
  
Sarkozy's office declined to comment on the report on the two command posts.

Date created : 2009-02-04

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