French president against NATO enlargement

10:32, 29 August 2006
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While Ukraine bids to join it

French President Jacques Chirac on Monday warned that NATO`s enlargement could only distort its vocation of guaranteeing the collective security of the European and North American allies, according to Xinhua.

"NATO`s legitimacy" is to be preserved "as a military organization guarantor of the collective security of the European and North American allies", Chirac said at an annual gathering of French ambassadors in Paris.

"To seek to commit the alliance to non-military operations, partnerships a la carte, technological adventures, insufficiently prepared enlargement could only distort its vocation," he said in a broad foreign policy speech.

France is opposed to the deployment of NATO troops in Iraq and recently Lebanon. The United States hopes to integrate Croatia, Macedonia and Albania into the 26-member NATO alliance. Ukraine is also considering joining the military bloc.

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