Joint press point

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of France, François Hollande - Opening remarks by the Secretary General

  • 03 Jun. 2016 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 03 Jun. 2016 12:30

(As delivered)

Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of France, Francois Hollande

Thank you so much, President François Hollande, and thank you ‎for welcoming me. And thank you for your strong support to the NATO Alliance.

I know how focused you are now on the effects of the devastating floods in Paris and across France.

And my thoughts go to all those affected.

And to the men and women of the emergency services.

France is a strong country.

And France is a strong NATO Ally, building security in Europe and beyond - from Mali to Syria. 

You are contributing to NATO’s deployment in the Aegean Sea, which helps cut the lines of human smuggling.    

You play an important part in the Global Coalition Against ISIL, to which all NATO Allies contribute.

And you will take the lead of NATO’s high-readiness Spearhead Force in the coming years.

You also support our partners.

In particular I appreciate your efforts, along with Germany, to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

We just had excellent discussions on NATO’s response to the challenges we face.

From terrorism, to instability in the Middle East and North Africa, to a more assertive Russia.

And we reviewed our agenda for the Warsaw Summit.

Including our plans to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.

This is a defensive and proportionate response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

Defence and dialogue are the two tracks of NATO’s approach to Russia.

And we are moving forward on both tracks.

Dialogue between NATO and Russia is even more important when tensions are high. 

Because we must avoid accidents and incidents spiralling out of control.

A new Cold War is in nobody’s interest.

We also discussed how NATO could do more to project stability in our neighbourhood.

We are already helping partners like Iraq, Jordan, and Tunisia strengthen their own security.

We are now working with the Iraqi government to see how we can expand our training activities in Iraq.                           

NATO can, and must do more.

Because in the fight against terrorism and state failure, helping our partners boost their own security is one of the best weapons we have.

Turmoil and extremism in our neighbourhood can have a direct impact on our security here at home, as the barbaric terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have recently shown us all.

When our partners are more stable, we are more secure.

In projecting stability beyond our borders, NATO and the European Union are complementary.

And at the Warsaw Summit, we will take our cooperation to the next level.

Not just in supporting our partners, but in areas such as countering hybrid and cyber threats, and increasing maritime security.

To ensure strong defence and deterrence, and to project stability beyond our borders, we need sufficient resources.

In an unpredictable world, European nations must do more to protect our citizens.

France is investing significant resources in defence and security. And showing the political will to use them for our common cause. And I thank you for doing exactly that.

So these are the challenges we face and we are facing challenging times.

But we are rising to the challenge. 

So President François Hollande, thank you once again.

I look forward to working with you and to meet you again at the Summit in Warsaw.