NATO Stands with the US in the Fight Against Terrorism
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and outlined NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism in a speech at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on Wednesday.
The Alliance invoked its collective defence clause – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – for the first time in support of the United States, after 9/11. “In the days that followed 9/11, NATO planes helped to patrol American skies,” said the Secretary General.
He stressed that NATO Allies continue to stand with the United States, training Afghan security forces and providing surveillance aircraft to the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
Mr. Stoltenberg noted that NATO is boosting its contribution to the fight against terrorism, with a new training mission in Iraq and more support for partners, such as Jordan and Tunisia. “Training local forces is one of the best weapons we have in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Warning that terrorism comes in many forms, the Secretary General recalled that the 2011 attacks in Norway were perpetrated by a white Norwegian. He stressed that to fight terrorism, we need military might, but also political, diplomatic and social tools.
“Our response to terrorism – in all its forms – wherever it appears – is to unite around our values, and stand up for our open and free societies,” he said.
The Secretary General also thanked the National September 11 Memorial for giving NATO an important piece of American history: a piece of twisted steel from the Twin Towers, which is displayed at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels as the 9/11 and Article 5 Memorial.
Mr. Stoltenberg announced that one of the Survivor Tree seedlings will soon be planted at NATO headquarters, in honour of fallen Allied armed forces. The Survivor Tree is a Callery pear tree which survived the 9/11 attacks and was nursed back to health.
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