Merkel says maintaining NATO is of utmost importance to German interests

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a news conference following a joint Franco-German cabinet meeting in Toulouse, France, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Maintaining the NATO defense alliance is of utmost importance to Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday after French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO was “experiencing brain death”.

“Maintaining NATO today is even more in our very own interests as it was in the Cold War - or at least as important as it was in the Cold War,” Merkel told lawmakers in parliament.

“Because, and the foreign minister said this yesterday, Europe currently cannot defend itself on its own,” she said.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal