Nato chief, Jens Stoltenberg, has warned European Union members against duplicating the alliance’s work and jeopardising relations with the United States.

“More European efforts on defence is great but it should never undermine the strength of the transatlantic bond,” said Jens Stoltenberg at a forum in Berlin. “This is partly about substance but also partly about perception because perception matters.

“If we speak too much about a phrase like, for instance strategic autonomy? it sounds like you’re going to do these big strategic things alone and I don’t think that’s wise.

“Two World Wars and a Cold War taught us the importance of doing things together,” he said.

Stoltenberg’s statement followed a disagreement between US President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron.

Trump had tweeted on November 9 that Macron’s call for a “real European army” was “insulting”.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), the US leader’s criticism came after Macron spoke about the need for a European army and listed the US along with Russia and China as a threat to European security.

Trump has repeatedly berated European Nato members like Germany for failing to meet spending targets set by the alliance.

But in an interview aired on November 11, Macron said Europe should not raise their defence budgets in order to purchase US-made weapons.