Hollande calls on EU leaders to refuse “pressure” from US

Valletta, Feb 4: French President Francois Hollande called on European Union leaders to refuse any “pressure” from the US administration and to reflect a complete independence on its future, particularly on defence, trade and its relations with Russia. Hollande did not rule out the possibility of a “multi-speed” Europe when addressing the press during the European Union informal summit here, Xinhua news agency reported. A plan was endorsed at the summit to stem illegal immigration along the central Mediterranean route and prepared for the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome to be celebrated on March 25. “There may be different opinions within the 28, even judgments on the Trump administration can be nuanced among us, but there needs to be a unity of the European Union to take the full account of what is taking place,” said the French president. Hollande also warned against relying solely on the US-domited alliance for Europe’s military defence. Europe must organise its own defence within the framework of the TO alliance, he said. (IANS)