NATO Secretary General meets with President Biden at the White House
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with US President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington D.C. on Monday (7 June 2021), to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit on 14 June. The Secretary General thanked President Biden for his leadership and the “powerful commitment” of the United States to NATO, saying that he welcomed the President’s “strong message on the importance of alliances.” Mr Stoltenberg said they agreed on the importance of strengthening NATO in a more competitive world, and that the ambitious decisions to be taken under the NATO 2030 initiative will prepare the Alliance for the future.
The Secretary General said that the ambitious NATO 2030 agenda involves reinforcing collective defence, strengthening resilience, sharpening the Alliance’s technological edge, tackling the security impact of climate change, and increasing cooperation with partners who share NATO’s values. Mr Stoltenberg stressed that this work will require continued investment in defence, and that Allies are on the right track, with seven consecutive years of rising investment across European Allies and Canada. From 2014 to the end of 2021, they will have added a total of 260 billion US dollars to their defence budgets, he said, calling this an important reinforcement of shared security and a clear message of resolve.
Earlier on Monday, the Secretary General met Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. “The global balance of power is shifting,” said Mr Stoltenberg. “We face many challenges which we cannot face alone, but we need to face them together in NATO.” He recalled that the NATO 2030 agenda involves continued defence investment and the further strengthening of deterrence and defence, “but also to broaden our security agenda, to do more when it comes to resilience, technology, and also working with our partners.” He further stressed that as NATO ends its military presence in Afghanistan, the Alliance will continue to provide support for the Afghan forces and people.
Also on Monday, the Secretary General is meeting with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. On Tuesday, Mr Stoltenberg will meet with members of the U.S. Congress, including Gerry Connolly, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.