Secretary General thanks Chancellor Merkel for Germany’s essential contributions to NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Germany for its vital contributions to the Alliance in talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday (7 November 2019). Speaking at a press conference at the Chancellery, Mr. Stoltenberg praised Germany’s leadership of multinational NATO forces in Lithuania, its hosting of the Alliance’s new mobility command in Ulm, and its important contributions to NATO operations from Afghanistan to Kosovo and the Aegean Sea.
The two leaders also discussed preparations for the meeting of NATO leaders in December in London, including the need for higher readiness of NATO forces and fairer burden-sharing within the Alliance. Recalling that Allies have delivered five successive years of real growth in defence budgets, Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed that Germany plans to further raise its level of defence investment.
With regard to the situation in northern Syria, the Secretary General said it was clear that Allies have different views but that all Allies agree that the gains made together in the fight against ISIS must not be jeopardised. “We must remain committed to our training missions, so that ISIS does not re-emerge in Afghanistan or Iraq. And we must continue to do all we can to support UN-led efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria,” he said.
While in Berlin, Mr. Stoltenberg also met separately with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Earlier on Thursday, the Secretary General spoke at the Körber Global Leaders Dialogue, setting out the importance of the transatlantic bond in bringing peace to Europe after World War Two, and in bringing down the Berlin Wall. On Friday, the Secretary General will address a joint meeting of lawmakers from the Bundestag’s defence and foreign affairs committees. On Saturday, the Secretary General will join President Steinmeier at a ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, hosted by Berlin mayor Michael Müller.