Secretary General praises France's leading role in NATO during visit to Paris

  • 24 Jun. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Jun. 2024 18:54

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday (24 June 2024) to discuss preparations for the Washington Summit in July.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron

The Secretary General praised France's key role in the Alliance, including its contributions to collective defence on the eastern flank with deployments in Romania and Estonia. He also thanked President Macron for France’s contributions to NATO's air policing in the Baltic skies and in the maritime domain, where "French naval ships keep our sea lanes open and safe". He further underlined that France’s nuclear forces contribute to the overall security of the Alliance. 

Mr Stoltenberg called more support to Ukraine “our most urgent task” for the Washington Summit, saying he expects Allies to agree for NATO to lead the coordination and provision of security assistance and training for Ukraine. He has also proposed a long-term financial commitment. “Our support is not about making NATO a party to the conflict; it is about ensuring that Ukraine can uphold its right to self-defence,” he said. 

Strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence will be another key topic at the Summit, and Mr Stoltenberg welcomed that a record 23 Allies, including France, will invest at least 2 percent of GDP in defence this year.

“We will also address other important issues at the Summit, including work with the European Union and our Indo-Pacific partners. And the decisions we’ll take in Washington will strengthen our Alliance for the future,” the Secretary General concluded.