Secretary General previews meeting of NATO leaders
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previewed the agenda of this week’s meeting of NATO leaders in a press conference on Wednesday (24 May 2017). Tomorrow, NATO leaders will meet in Brussels to address the Alliance’s role in the fight against terrorism and fairer burden-sharing across NATO.
The Alliance will also mark the handover of its new headquarters from Belgium to NATO. “This will be a historic milestone: a new home for a modern Alliance,” said the Secretary General. He noted that the site, a former military airfield during both World Wars, will now become a venue for dialogue and cooperation between Allies.
Mr. Stoltenberg also condemned the recent attack in Manchester, noting that countering terrorism requires a coordinated response. “Our meeting will show that all NATO Allies remain united in the fight against terrorism in all its forms,” he said. Tomorrow, NATO leaders will take decisions to increase the Alliance’s support to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
NATO Allies will also address burden-sharing across NATO, including how to meet the pledge all Allies made in 2014 – to stop the cuts; gradually increase and move towards spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade. “We will decide that Allies will share and report on their progress every year,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
The Secretary General stressed that tomorrow’s meeting will demonstrate NATO’s ability to change as the world changes. He noted that the parliaments of all 28 Allies have ratified Montenegro’s accession to NATO, a step forward for stability in the Western Balkans. “NATO’s strength allows us to defend our nations at home, to train partners abroad, and to engage in difficult but important dialogue,” he said.