US welcomes French reintegration into NATO
The United States welcomed French President
Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement Tuesday in Paris of plans to reintegrate France into NATO's command structure for the first time in decades,
"We very much have always appreciated France's role in the alliance, but full reintegration of France into the NATO military command structure has been a goal for many for a long time, and (we're) certainly pleased to see it happen," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.
French then-president Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from the military command in 1966 and asked for the relocation of NATO headquarters to another country. NATO moved to Mons, Belgium.
Sarkozy announced France's reintegration plans during a speech about military policy, arguing that an expanded French role in NATO would boost Europe's influence.
"I want the alliance to be more European, and how can we have a more European alliance without France?" Sarkozy asked.