NATO Secretary General and the Belgian Prime Minister discussed strengthening the transatlantic bond
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo today (4 February) at the Prime Minister’s office in Brussels to discuss the strong links between Europe and North America and the opportunity to renew and reenergise the transatlantic bond.
Mr. Stoltenberg thanked Belgium for hosting NATO. He also thanked the Belgian armed forces for supporting civilian efforts during the pandemic, including with medical equipment, transport, testing and help with vaccinations. “Right across the Alliance, armed forces have been essential to the civilian response to COVID-19”, he said. Mr. Stoltenberg said that this proves once again the importance of investing in defence to keep our militaries strong.
The Secretary General also recalled Belgium’s important contributions to our shared security, including by contributing to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, the multinational battlegroups in the Baltic Sea region, and the training mission in Afghanistan. The two leaders also discussed the NATO 2030 initiative to make the Alliance even stronger for the future, and preparations for the summit of NATO leaders, due to take part later this year in Brussels. They addressed NATO’s cooperation with partners such as the European Union. “I am proud that we have been able over the last years to lift the NATO-EU cooperation to unprecedented levels and when EU and NATO stand together, when we work together, we are a powerful force for stability and security”, the Secretary General said.
The Secretary General stressed that importance of arms control, and welcomed the extension of the New START treaty, saying: “Extension of the New START should not be the end of the process, it is the beginning of an effort to further strengthen international arms control, so that in the future we can have arms control agreements covering more weapons systems and including more countries, including China”.