U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said NATO must grow and change or risk becoming obsolete, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said the alliance was dying.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had rejected Macron’s comments in an interview with British weekly The Economist as “drastic”, on Thursday.
The same day, Pompeo said the alliance was perhaps one of the most important “in all recorded history.”
After delivering a speech on Friday in Berlin, Pompeo was asked in a question-and-answer session whether NATO was obsolete or brain dead.
“Seventy years on … it needs to grow and change,” he replied. “It needs to confront the realities of today and the challenges of today.”
“If nations believe that they can get the security benefit without providing NATO the resources that it needs, if they don’t live up to their commitments, there is a risk that NATO could become ineffective or obsolete,” he said.
In the speech, Pompeo criticised Russia’s treatment of political opponents and said China’s tactics would be “horrifyingly familiar” to former East Germans, describing free nations as being in a “competition of values” with less free nations.
Pompeo said the Chinese Communist Party was “shaping a new vision of authoritarianism” and warned Germany about using Chinese telecom equipment vendor Huawei Technologies to build its fifth-generation data network (5G).
In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry criticized Pompeo over earlier comments about the Chinese Communist Party, saying those remarks had been “extremely dangerous” and exposed his “sinister intentions”.
Edited by Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
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