July 18, 2012 / 5:08 PM / 5 years ago

Hollande orders French NATO command seat review

France's President Francois Hollande delivers a speech as part of a visit at the health care center "Maison Medicale Notre Dame du Lac" in Rueil-Malmaison, western Paris, July 17, 2012 . REUTERS/Pierre Verdy/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande has asked former foreign minister Hubert Vedrine to review France’s membership of NATO’s integrated military command, his office said on Wednesday, echoing unease about its place in the alliance’s inner circle.

Hollande has in the past expressed reservations about France’s 2009 return to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s integrated command, a move approved by his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who was one of the most pro-American presidents France has had in decades.

Hollande also asked fellow Socialist Vedrine, who opposed France’s return to NATO’s inner circle, to review France’s relationship with the United States over the next decade. Vedrine is to report back by the end of October.

General Charles de Gaulle withdrew French forces from NATO’s command in 1966 at the height of the Cold War and forced the alliance’s headquarters to relocate from Paris and Fontainebleau the following year in protest at what he saw as U.S. hegemony in Europe.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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