07:28 GMT +316 December 2018
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    Spanish Navy Marines take positions during a military exercise in the Garrucha beach near Almeria, Spain. File photo

    Spanish Defence Minister Backs Idea of Creating European Army

    © AP Photo / Daniel Tejedor
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Madrid supports French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for creating a European army, Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Thursday.

    On November 6, in an interview with the Europe 1 radio station, Macron called for the establishment of a European army that would "protect" the union from China, Russia and even the United States. To support his idea, he cited alleged attempts by outside forces to meddle in Europe’s domestic affairs and cybersecurity.

    "The Spanish government assesses this [idea] positively, like everything else that contributes to strengthening the European Union," Robles said, as quoted by the Vanguardia newspaper.

    READ MORE: Le Pen Stands 'Fundamentally Against' Macron's Pan-European Army Initiative

    She, however, stressed that the project must be implemented within the framework of "maximum cooperation and integration" between the European Union and NATO.

    Macron’s idea has already been welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that "the times when we could rely on others are over."

    US President Donald Trump, in contrast, harshly slammed Macron's initiative, calling it "very insulting," and suggesting that "perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly."

    Related:

    French President Emmanuel Macron Proposes Creation of 'Real European Army'
    EU 'Defense Identity' Unlikely to Start With 'Real European Army' - Spokesman
    'Real European Army': Macron's Initiative is Taking Shape Step by Step
    Tags:
    military, European army, NATO, European Union, Emmanuel Macron, France, Spain
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