NATO Secretary General discusses Warsaw Summit with Dutch Prime Minister
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague on Thursday (9 June 2016) to discuss the Alliance’s agenda for the Warsaw Summit in July. Mr. Stoltenberg praised the Netherlands for being a “committed NATO Ally,” making valuable contributions to NATO’s collective defence in Europe and helping to project stability beyond the Alliance’s borders.
During their talks, the Secretary General and Prime Minister Rutte discussed the next steps NATO will take at the Warsaw Summit to respond to a more challenging security environment. Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted how NATO is adapting its defence and deterrence posture and increasing the readiness of its forces. “We are going to increase our forward presence in the eastern part of our Alliance. We have agreed that the forward presence will be a multinational presence,” said the Secretary General.
The leaders also discussed how NATO can further project stability beyond its borders. Mr. Stoltenberg underscored the importance of enabling local forces to fight terrorism and secure their own countries. “We can help them, train them, build local capacity so that they are able to stabilise their own countries,” he said.
Highlighting NATO’s support to assist with the refugee and migrant crisis, the Secretary General thanked the Netherlands for its contribution to NATO’s deployment in the Aegean Sea. He stressed that the number of crossings has significantly reduced and welcomed the broadening of international efforts to stem the flow of illegal trafficking and migration. He added that NATO will continue to step up its cooperation with the European Union. “I look forward to the Summit because the aim is to be able to lift the EU-NATO cooperation to a new level,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
The Secretary General also underlined the importance of meeting the defence spending pledge made at the Wales Summit in September 2014. He welcomed the Netherlands’ efforts to increase defence spending and stressed that this is a first step towards increasing investments in NATO’s collective defence and shared security.