'Weimar Triangle' cooperation to be model for EU defence force?
PR dla Zagranicy
France's new defence minister said after talks with his Polish counterpart, Monday, that the so-called Weimar Triangle nations could accelerate the formation of a European defence force.
Poland;s defence minister (right) greets his French counterpart in Warsaw: photo - PAP/Rafal Gruz
After noting slow progress in the formation of an EU defence capability, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Warsaw yesterday for talks with Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, said that “there’s an existing form of cooperation that could be revived, as we are among those countries that are key for European defence”.
The French defence minister, in his new post following victory by the Socialists in parliamentary elections last month, was referring to the Weimar Triangle nations of Poland, France and Germany - formed in 1991 - who are working on a tactical response defence group, to be ready by 2013 and seen as a possible model for any future joint-EU defence capability.
The French minister said the drive towards a coordinated EU defence policy made sense at a time when national governments were cutting defence spending.
“The actualisation of EU defence is timely and and essential,” Le Drian said, after talks with Tomasz Siemoniak at President Komorowski's residence at the Belweder Palace.
Poland's defence minister said that the new French government is interested in cooperation in the so-called “Polish shield” element of the US-led anti-ballistic missile project in Europe.
“France seems to be a very interesting partner in the 'Polish Shield'. We have the plan and France has the industry,” Siemoniak said, noting with pleasure that, after Berlin, Warsaw was the second port of call for the new French head of defence.
Le Drian declared that a thousand French soldiers will participate in NATO exercises in Poland next year.
Siemoniak said that the French participation will increase the importance of the exercises, which will be attended by "soldiers, not computers." (pg)