NATO Secretary General discusses Alliance’s continued adaptation with President Macron
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris today (19 December) to discuss the Alliance’s continued adaptation to a challenging security environment, and preparations for next year’s NATO Summit in Brussels.
At a joint press conference with President Macron, the Secretary General praised France’s significant contribution to NATO’s collective defence, remarking on the “committed, professional” French troops he had met during his visit to the NATO battlegroup in Estonia. He also commended France’s efforts in the fight against terrorism, noting that it plays “a very important role in the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh”.
Welcoming efforts to strengthen European defence, Mr. Stoltenberg said such efforts would mean a stronger NATO because they would result in “more defence spending, more capabilities and fairer transatlantic burden-sharing within the Alliance”. He also acknowledged President Macron’s “strong personal commitment to multinational institutions, to international cooperation, and to NATO as a transatlantic Alliance”.
Later in the day, the Secretary General addressed an audience at the Ecole Militaire in Paris, the original seat of the NATO Defense College, and a place of study not just for French military officers but officers from many NATO Allies and partner countries too. During his speech, he congratulated France for “playing a crucial role in helping to modernise NATO” and stressed that the Alliance’s “ability to adapt is crucial to our success”. He also highlighted the importance of continuing to expand cooperation between NATO and the European Union, noting that “we are natural partners”.
The Secretary General is on a two-day visit to France during which he is also holding talks with Jean-Yves Le Drian (Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs), François de Rugy (President of the Assembleé Nationale) and General François Lecointre (Chief of Defence), among others. On Monday, Mr. Stoltenberg met Florence Parly (Minister for the Armed Forces).