Joint press point
with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of France Emmanuel Macron
Merci, Monsieur le Président.
It’s great to be back in Paris and to meet with you again.
And we just had good and open discussions, addressing a wide range of issues, addressing how we can further strengthen and modernise the NATO Alliance and how we can stand together as we face new and difficult security challenges.
France has outstanding troops, high-end military capabilities, and you have the political will to deploy them when needed.
You play a major role in the fight against terrorism, with thousands of troops deployed in the Sahel and in the Levant.
I would like to express my deepest condolences for the loss of your soldiers in Mali this week. They were there to protect our shared security. My heartfelt sympathy to their loved ones and to the people of France.
In uncertain times, we need strong multilateral institutions like NATO.
NATO is the only platform where North America and Europe can address strategic issues together. We do that on a daily basis. Issues like:
- The fight against terrorism;
- How to deal with a more assertive Russia;
- And the rise of China.
And over the last years, NATO has implemented the largest reinforcement of our Alliance since the end of the Cold War. With higher readiness of our forces. With combat-ready troops deployed to the East of the Alliance for the first time in our history. with a new command structure. And we see that European allies are stepping up, and also that the United States are increasing their military presence in Europe.
So the paradox is that while questions are being asked about the strength of the transatlantic bond, North America and Europe are doing more together than we have done for decades.
And I can hardly think about any stronger demonstration of the commitment to our Alliance, to our collective defence, to Article 5, than the fact that we are actually doing more together, increasing the readiness of our forces, investing more in our security, than we have done for many, many years.
I also welcome that France is stepping up, investing more, and that you are increasing your defence budget.
And I also welcome your support for European Union efforts on defence.
Done in the right way, these efforts can strengthen NATO’s European pillar.
But the European Union cannot defend Europe.
European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity.
A strong NATO and a strong European union are two sides of the same coin.
Both are indispensable for the continued freedom and prosperity of Europe.
It is no secret that NATO Allies have differences on different issues, including the situation in north-east Syria.
But we agree on the fundamentals:
Standing together, defending each other.
Article 5, our collective defence clause, is an ironclad commitment by all Allies.
So Mr President,
The foundations of NATO are strong.
We will continue to adapt, continue to modernise.
And together, we will look on how we can further strengthen NATO’s political role.
And I look forward to meet you again next week at the Leaders’ meeting in London.