STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ON FRANCE'S RETURN TO NATO'S MILITARY STRUCTURE
(AS RELEASED BY THE WHITE HOUSE)
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PRESIDENT OBAMA: I enthusiastically welcome the decision made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to fully reintegrate France into the NATO Alliance.
President Sarkozy's leadership has been essential and is much appreciated. France is a founding member of NATO and has been a strong contributor to NATO missions throughout the Alliance's history. France's full participation in the NATO military command structure will further contribute to a stronger Alliance and a stronger Europe.
The NATO Alliance has been the cornerstone of trans-Atlantic security for the past 60 years. The United States is committed to its success, and knows that it is through close cooperation with Allies and partners that we can overcome our most difficult challenges. In this context, I also welcome the further strengthening of European defense capabilities.
During my upcoming visit to France and Germany for the 60th Anniversary NATO Summit, I look forward to discussing ways to ensure that our strengthened Alliance, with France as a full participant in all its structures, will be as important in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century.