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Angela Merkel echoes Emmanuel Macron by calling for the formation of a 'real, true' European army

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French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel review troops during a French-German ceremony on Saturday. Both leaders have called for the creation of a European army. (PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the formation of a "real, true" European army during a speech to European Union ministers on Tuesday, lending support to the suggestion made by French President Emmanuel Macron last week.

What are the details?

Speaking on the future of the E.U., Merkel told her audience, "What is really important, if we look at the developments of the past year, is that we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European army."

According to the Daily Mail, Merkel said the new army would work with NATO, but suggested that "only a stronger Europe is going to defend Europe."

"Europe must take our fate into our own hands if we want to protect our community," she added.

Merkel's remarks echoed those of Macron's last week, when he reportedly told Europe 1-TV (in a translation provided by the Mail):

I believe in the project of a sovereign Europe. We won't protect Europe if we don't decide to have a true European army.

We have to have a Europe that can defend itself alone — and without only relying on the United States in a more sovereign manner.

We should protect ourselves when it comes to China, Russia and even the United States of America.

The Independent reported that while Macron was speaking ahead of a World War I commemoration on the battlefield of Verdun on Sunday, he said, "When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security."

How did President Trump respond?

President Trump responded to Macron's remarks on Friday on Twitter, saying the French president's suggestion to form a European army to guard against the U.S. "very insulting," and calling upon Europe to "first pay its fair share of NATO."

On Tuesday, President Trump lobbed a rapid-fire series of tweets responding to France and its leader, who warned against nationalism in a speech on Sunday.

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