President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized the UN Security Council and urged European nations to show greater independence in a wide-ranging interview in the Paris magazine Grand Continent.

“I must say that the UN Security Council currently doesn’t produce any useful decisions any more,” Macron said in remarks from the interview released by the president’s office.

France is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council alongside the United States, China, Russia and Britain, each of whom can prevent any resolution with their veto.

The US traditionally blocks criticism of Israel. Among other things, Russia has prevented sanctions against Syria.

Turning to Europe, Macron reiterated that the Old Continent needs to become more independent. The US would only accept the Europeans as allies “if we take ourselves seriously and if we are sovereign in our own defence,” the French president asserted.

On the recent US election, Macron called the upcoming change of government in Washington an opportunity to work on mutual understanding “that we [Europeans] are continuing to build our own autonomy, just as the United States and China are doing for themselves.”

Macron had sparked months of debate last year when he called the NATO defence pact “brain dead” and called for a re-think of the alliance.

According to French government sources, Macron is to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Paris on Monday at the outset of the American official’s trip to several European and Middle Eastern capitals.

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