Joint press point
with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel
Chancellor Merkel, liebe Angela,
It is always great to meet with you.
And thank you for seeing me here in Berlin once again. And thank you for your leadership.
Germany is a key NATO Ally. You play a crucial role in the transatlantic relationship.
From protecting Baltic air space, with your air policing mission, to maritime deployments in the Aegean.
And from NATO’s deterrent force in Lithuania, led by Germany, to our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo where Germany provides significant force contributions.
NATO needs a strong Germany, both politically and militarily.
That also means a Bundeswehr that has the full range of capabilities needed to keep our countries safe.
We have lots to discuss today.
You mentioned some of the key issues.
The situation at the border of Belarus with Poland, but also Lithuania and Latvia is deeply concerning.
The Lukashenko regime’s use of vulnerable people as means to put pressure on other countries is cynical and inhumane.
NATO stands in full solidarity with all affected Allies.
We remain vigilant, and stand ready to further help our Allies.
We also see large and unusual concentration of Russian forces close to Ukraine’s borders. It is urgent that Russia shows transparency about its military build up, de-escalate and reduce tensions.
NATO is monitoring the situation closely.
And we continue to provide political and practical support to Ukraine.
Russia’s actions are only one of the challenges we are facing.
We also see cohesive behaviour by China.
And we see sophisticated cyber-attacks,
persistent terrorist threats, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the security implications of climate change.
These challenges are very different.
But they have one thing in common.
The best way to tackle them is by standing united. North America and Europe together in NATO, in strategic solidarity.
You have been a pillar of our transatlantic family for so many years.
It has been a real privilege to work with you.
We met, you may not remember, but we met for the first time in the 1990’s, when you were minister for the environment and I was minister of energy and then in 2005 I started my second term as Prime Minister of Norway and you became the Chancellor of Germany.
And since then, we’ve worked closely together addressing a wide range of issues: the financial crisis, climate change,
Implementint the United Nations Development Goals, and of course over the last seven years, NATO defence and security.
And every time, I’ve been deeply impressed by your ability to go straight to the point, to find solutions, and to move the agenda forward.
You have made the world a better place. Thank you.
We have participated together in 11 NATO Summits.
And I knew that in difficult situations, I could always count on you, your wisdom, your experience, and your ability to help us build consensus.
So thank you once again.
Thank you for everything you have done for NATO, and for keeping the bond between Europe and North America strong.
Vielen Dank, liebe Angela!