Merkel calls for a 'real, true' European army

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Elysee Palace before the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day 100 years after the end of World War One

A French pensioner mistook Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for the wife of President Emmanuel Macron of France Credit REINHARD KRAUSE Reuters

"What we need really to do is to study the vision of creating a real European army", - said Merkel.

Merkel told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France the days where Europe can unconditionally rely on other nations (the United States) are gone. We won't protect Europe if we don't decide to have a true European army.

"Europe must take our fate into our own hands if we want to protect our community", she added.

"For years, UKIP have been warning about the creation of an European Union army, only to be derided as fantasists. It would not be directed against NATO, but it would complement it, without ever questioning the link" with the Atlantic Alliance.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to throw her weight behind a French initiative to create a unified European armed force has surprised some of her fellow continental leaders.

The French and German proposals to create a European army are controversial within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the EU, where many member states are reluctant to give up national sovereignty on defense issues.

"We have already achieved cooperation in the military sphere, that is good and we're going to continue to support this", she said. Tuesday's speech was notable, however, in that it came just hours after aggressive comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who launched a tirade against France via Twitter Tuesday morning. A former "voice of German industry", Mr Henkel believes Mrs Merkel has dealt her country a "painful blow" by not doing more to keep ensure Britain remained an European Union member.

He even went further by suggesting that not only should Europe have a fully-fledged joint military but that - at least in some areas such as defence against cyber attacks - Europe could end up lumping the USA in the category of rivals, together with Russian Federation and China.

In follow-up tweets, Trump also took a jab at France's internationally renowned wine industry and pointed to Macron's low approval rating as well as relatively high unemployment in France.

The French president made his call during a radio interview last week: "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America".

In July, Trump said, "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France".

"A common army among the Europeans would convey to Russian Federation that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union", he said.

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