Short remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin

  • 14 Feb. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Feb. 2023 17:42

(As delivered)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg:

Secretary Austin, dear Lloyd. It's great to see you again so shortly after we met in Washington, and thank you for coming to NATO. It is always a great pleasure to welcome you here. And most of all, thank you for your strong commitment to the transatlantic bond, to the transatlantic relationship, to NATO.

And for your leadership, your outstanding leadership in providing support to Ukraine, the leadership of the Ukraine Defense Contact group, and everything the United States have done to ensure that Ukraine gets the weapons, the supplies they need to win the war and to liberate their territory. So I look forward to defence ministers meeting. Many important issues to discuss. But I always feel so assured when you are here, because then I have a strong supporter of our Alliance and NATO, and a strong support to Ukraine. So welcome.

Lloyd Austin, United States Secretary of Defense:

Dear Jens, it was great to see you as well in Washington last week, I thought we had a really good meeting. So you know you're always welcome to the Pentagon. So come back soon and come often. And we are always delighted to see you. Thanks for hosting this. You know, I look forward to interacting with our colleagues today and tomorrow. I am discussing the challenges that we face. This is a very interesting time, in terms of the security of Europe. So I look forward to some really good discussions here.

Thanks for your leadership. You have very expertly led us through some very challenging times. And we were all very grateful for that and confident in your steady leadership. You know, we're a year into this Ukraine crisis. The Ukrainians have really done remarkably well, based, as a result of some of the things that Allies and partners are doing to provide security assistance.

But you know, in terms of this Alliance, in terms of NATO, you've heard me say a number of times, I've never seen this Alliance this united. Despite the fact that we've been dealing with a number of challenges throughout the year, but your steady leadership has kept us in the right place. And we're all very, very grateful for that. So again, I look forward to a great meeting. And I also look forward to interacting with our colleagues here. Thank you.