Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised the United Kingdom’s contributions to NATO in a visit to London on Thursday (21 June 2018).
“The United Kingdom has long led by example in NATO,” said Mr. Stoltenberg at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May.
According to a NATO communique, he welcomed that the UK leads a NATO battlegroup in Estonia, contributes to NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, and that Royal Air Force jets patrol the skies over the Black Sea region.
Mr. Stoltenberg also welcomed the UK’s continued commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on defence. “I know that NATO can rely on the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom can rely on NATO,” he said.
During his two-day visit to London, the Secretary General made a keynote speech ahead of the Summit of Allied Heads of State and Government in Brussels on 11 and 12 July.
Speaking at Lancaster House, Mr. Stoltenberg explained the importance of the transatlantic bond and how it is being strengthened in NATO.
He highlighted how defence ties between North America and Europe have grown closer and that the principle at the heart of Alliance remains strong, saying: “again and again, we unite around our common goal. We stand together. We protect each other.”
As well as discussing preparations for the NATO Summit with Prime Minister May, the Secretary General also had talks in London with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.