NATO Secretary General stresses importance of transatlantic unity on visit to Slovakia

  • 28 Feb. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 28 Feb. 2019 15:24

Visiting Košice on Thursday (28 February) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Andrej Kiska for an exchange of views on regional issues and thanked him for his country’s continued commitment to the Alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends the meeting of the Heads of State of the Bucharest 9 group. Family photo

Mr Stoltenberg joined the meeting of the Bucharest-9 presidents.  He stressed that this will be a year of celebrations for NATO, noting that the Alliance will celebrate its 70thanniversary. In addition, this year also marks the anniversary of twenty years since the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland became members of NATO, as well as fifteen years since Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia joined the NATO family. 

We have cause for celebration.  But at the same time, we cannot afford to be complacent. The world is more complex and unpredictable than ever before,” Mr Stoltenberg said. He stressed that “the only way to deal with a more unpredictable world is to stay strong, stay united, and keep adapting." Together with the presidents from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia present at the event, he discussed NATO's continued adaptation to current security challenges and the need to ensure fair burden-sharing within the Alliance. He welcomed that all 9 countries are either spending 2 % of their GDP on defence, or have clear plans to achieve that goal in the next years.

In Košice, the NATO Secretary General also addressed students at a GLOBSEC event called "NATO Engages - the 2019 Košice Dialogue," together with Slovakia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajčák.  “NATO created conditions for unprecedented peace and prosperity for 70 years. NATO's aim is to preserve the peace and prevent conflict." ‎In the 21st century, this means that NATO needs to maintain effective defence and deterrence and become more agile, more responsive, and even more effective.