November 13, 2018 / 9:44 PM / a month ago

Mattis backs NATO as France, Germany voice support for EU military

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks with the media before an enhanced honor cordon arrival of Greek Minister of Defense Panagiotis Kammenos at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that NATO was the cornerstone for the protection of Europe even as France and Germany called for an integrated European Union military.

Asked whether he supported an EU military, Mattis told reporters: “We see NATO as the cornerstone for the protection of Europe in the security realm and we fully support nations doing more to carry the load.”

He was speaking before the start of a meeting with his Polish counterpart at the Pentagon.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by James Dalgleish

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