November 7, 2019 / 4:42 PM / 11 days ago

Asked about NATO's 'brain death', Pompeo hails "historic" partnership

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shake hands during a visit to the Forum of Contemporary History in Leipzig, Germany November 7, 2019. John Macdougall/Pool via REUTERS

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - The United States’ and Germany’s chief diplomats rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s view that NATO is in a state of “brain death”, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying the alliance was one of the most important in all history.

At a joint news conference in Leipzig, Germany, where the two were gathered for commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, seen as the Western alliance’s crowning achievement, Pompeo remembered his time serving in the neighbourhood as a U.S. soldier in the late 1980s.

“NATO remains a critical, perhaps historically one of the most critical strategic partnerships in all recorded history,” he said, welcoming Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s aim of having Germany meet NATO spending targets by 2031.

“I do not think NATO is brain dead,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas added at the news conference on Thursday.

Reporting by Reuters TV, writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Paul Carrel

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