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Trump forcing Europe to deepen defense integration – French minister

Uncertainty over US President Donald Trump’s commitment to the NATO alliance requires European nations to bolster efforts to forge a common defense policy, according to France’s defense minister. “At the NATO summit a year ago, he did not explicitly support the idea in place since the North Atlantic Treaty that when one country of the alliance is attacked, the others will come to their aid,” Florence Parly told France 2 television on Thursday. “That casts a certain doubt” over the alliance formed by the treaty in 1949, she said. “Building a common European defense is necessary in this situation where we don’t really know if the assumptions we’ve lived with for the past 70 years are still valid,” AFP quoted the minister as saying. France and Germany have taken a “historic” step by agreeing to jointly build the next generation of fighter jets and tanks for their forces, and to form an integrated rapid response force, she added.