NATO Secretary General attends the Munich Security Conference
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined other world leaders in Germany on Friday (15 February 2019) to participate in the Munich Security Conference. He addressed the conference on the importance of strong multinational institutions and agreements, deterrence and defence, and transatlantic cooperation. The Munich Security Conference follows the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels where Allies discussed a wide range of security issues, including Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
On Friday, the Secretary General met President Petro Poroshenko to discuss NATO's strong support for Ukraine and the situation in the region. With President Ashraf Ghani, he discussed prospects for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan and the importance of NATO's training mission. He also met Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to discuss Croatia's contributions to NATO and the situation in the Western Balkans. In his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Secretary General discussed the situation in and around Ukraine, the INF Treaty, transparency and risk reduction, as well as the need to support Ambassador Khalilzad's peace efforts in Afghanistan.
On Saturday (16 February), the Secretary General met Chancellor Angela Merkel to thank her for Germany’s major contributions to NATO. They discussed burden-sharing, as well as NATO’s coordinated approach on Russia’s breach of the INF Treaty and to peace efforts in Afghanistan. He also met US Vice-President Mike Pence to discuss the importance of a strong transatlantic bond in an unpredictable world and the significant increase in defence spending across the Alliance, as well the INF Treaty, the situation in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East.
The Secretary General, together with Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, also met the US Congressional Delegation led by the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK), and the Congressional Delegation led by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Committee on Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Budget for wide-ranging discussions on NATO’s continued adaptation to current security challenges, and ensuring fairer burden-sharing across the Alliance.
In a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, Mr Stoltenberg thanked Spain for its significant contributions to NATO missions and operations and discussed topical security issues, including the situation in Kosovo.
The Munich Security Conference is one of the world's leading foreign and security policy gatherings. More than 35 heads of state and government are expected to attend, as well as 50 foreign ministers and 30 defence ministers.