Secretary General arrives in Washington ahead of NATO Summit, meets with US Secretary of Defense

  • 08 Jul. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 08 Jul. 2024 23:15

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III in Washington D.C. on Monday (08 July 2024) on the eve of the NATO 75th anniversary Summit.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg receives the US Department of Defense's Medal for distinguished Public Service

Mr. Stoltenberg thanked Secretary Austin for his commitment to NATO and his strong personal leadership on Ukraine, stating that “it really made a difference and enabled us all to provide unprecedented support to Ukraine”. On Ukraine, he condemned today’s “horrendous missile attacks against Ukrainian cities, killing innocent civilians including children”. The Secretary General indicated that, at the Summit, Allies will make decisions to further strengthen NATO’s support to Ukraine.

They will also address deterrence and defence, and show that NATO has “the forces, the readiness and the capabilities we need to continue to deter any aggressor.” “Allies continue to carry their fair share of the burden,” he added.

Secretary Austin presented Mr Stoltenberg with the US Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the highest award that the department can give to a foreign national.

Prior to his meeting with Secretary Austin, Mr Stoltenberg participated in a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. “Thousands of American soldiers who lost their lives on European soil in two world wars rest here,” said the Secretary General. “Tens of thousands more rest in cemeteries on the other side of the Atlantic. We honour their service and sacrifice.”

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Stoltenberg attended NATO Day at Washington Nationals Stadium, Nationals Park, where he threw the first pitch at a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Saint Louis Cardinals. Later on Monday, he will take part in a NATO Parliamentary Assembly reception, hosted by Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.