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Far-right leader Bardella backpedals on taking France out of NATO

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Villepinte, June 19: The far-right leader angling to become prime minister after France’s upcoming parliamentary election backtracked Wednesday on his party’s previous promise to pull out of NATO’s strategic military command.
National Rally president Jordan Bardella said at the Eurosatory arms trade show outside Paris in Villepinte that he “doesn’t plan to question the commitments France has made on the international stage” if voters give his far-right party a majority that enables him to lead a new government, in what would be an awkward power-sharing arrangement with President Emmanuel Macron.
Referring to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Bardella said that “France mustn’t leave NATO’s military command while we are at war, because it would considerably weaken France’s responsibility on the European scene and, obviously, its credibility with regard to its allies.” The comments pulled back from a campaign promise made by his party in its manifesto for the 2022 French presidential election. “The priority will be to leave the integrated NATO command,” the 2022 manifesto read, a move that would have taken French military staff out of the NATO body that plans operations, and weakened France’s role and influence within NATO. (AP)

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