Nato is outdated, says Schröder

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The Independent Online

Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, has soured carefully choreographed efforts to heal transatlantic wounds by calling for a drastic overhaul of Nato and a bigger voice for Europe, just as George Bush prepares to visit Brussels.

Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, has soured carefully choreographed efforts to heal transatlantic wounds by calling for a drastic overhaul of Nato and a bigger voice for Europe, just as George Bush prepares to visit Brussels.

Mr Schröder released a speech saying that Nato risked becoming outdated and was "no longer the primary venue where transatlantic partners discuss and co-ordinate strategies". The text proposed setting up a commission to propose improvements by the start of next year, and said "dialogue between the EU and the US neither reflects Europe's growing weight nor corresponds with new requirements of trans-atlantic co-operation".

The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has said: "Nato has a great deal of energy and vitality. I believe they are undertaking the kinds of reforms to bring the institution into the 21st century. The place to discuss transatlantic issues clearly is Nato."

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