Secretary General in London: UK leads by example in NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday (10 May 2017) to discuss preparations for the upcoming meeting of Allied leaders on 25 May. The Secretary General thanked the United Kingdom for its enduring commitment to NATO and its leadership in Europe and beyond.
In their talks, the Secretary General and Prime Minister May underlined the importance of fairer burden sharing and NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism. Mr. Stoltenberg noted that both issues will be high on the agenda for the meeting of NATO leaders and thanked the UK for leading by example on both fronts. The UK spends 2% of GDP on defence, and is making significant contributions to NATO’s collective defence and deterrence. British troops are leading a NATO battlegroup in Estonia, Royal Air Force jets patrol the skies over the Black Sea region and the UK leads NATO’s Spearhead Force this year. British troops also continue to play a leading role in NATO's mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces as they secure their country.
The Secretary General and Prime Minister May discussed what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. The Alliance is supporting the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL with AWACS surveillance planes and training for Iraqi forces, with strong UK support. Mr. Stoltenberg noted that strengthening local forces is essential in fighting terrorism, and NATO has untapped potential to do even more. He noted that NATO’s military authorities have requested a few thousand more troops for Afghanistan, and that decisions will be taken in the coming weeks.