NATO Secretary General thanks Dutch Prime Minister for commitment to Alliance
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked the Netherlands for its commitment to the Alliance, and in particular its contribution of two Patriot batteries to augment Turkey’s air defences, after talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, on Thursday (13 December).
The Secretary General, who met Prime Minister Rutte at NATO headquarters, commended the Dutch government for its recent decision to offer two Patriot batteries. “This is a strong signal of Allied solidarity,” Mr Fogh Rasmussen said, adding that the deployment will be defensive only. “It will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation. Its aim is to deter any threats to Turkey and to defend Turkey’s population and territory,” he said. The Netherlands, along with Germany and the United States have made public their intention to augment Turkey’s air defences by deploying Patriot batteries.
The Secretary General also thanked Prime Minister Rutte for his country’s contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and to the Alliance’s anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen praised the leadership role the Netherlands is playing in Smart Defence. The Netherlands is participating in 17 of 22 multinational projects aimed at developing military capabilities which were approved at the Chicago Summit. It is also working closely with Belgium and Luxembourg on capabilitiy sharing and development.