NATO Secretary General thanks President Obama for US commitment to NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US President Barack Obama discussed the Alliance’s response to key security challenges at the White House in Washington D.C. and preparations for the Warsaw Summit in July. Their meeting on Monday (4 April 2016) had special symbolism, as it took place 67 years since the signing of the Washington Treaty, on which the Alliance is founded.
The Secretary General stressed that "NATO is as important as ever, because NATO has been able to adapt to a more dangerous world." He thanked President Obama for his personal leadership and his commitment to transatlantic security.
The two leaders discussed the common fight against terrorism. "Terrorism affects us all, from Brussels to San Bernardino," Mr Stoltenberg said, noting that all NATO Allies contribute to the US-led effort to degrade and destroy ISIL and that NATO has just started training Iraqi officers. They also discussed how NATO can increase its support to other countries in the region, including Libya.
Afghanistan was also high on the agenda. Mr Stoltenberg underlined that NATO's biggest operation, a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US, shows the importance of Europe and North America standing together.
The Secretary General outlined NATO's strengthening of its collective defence in response to a more assertive Russia, and thanked President Obama for the important US contribution through the European Reassurance Initiative.
The two leaders also stressed the importance of increased investments in defence at a time of greater security challenges.
On Tuesday (5 April 2016), the Secretary General will meet with senior US defence officials and observe a military training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On Wednesday, Mr. Stoltenberg will also meet with members of the Armed Services Committee and Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, and deliver a keynote speech at an event organised by the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C.