The strengthening of the fight against terrorism, by the possible participation of NATO in the coalition against ISIS, as well as the increase of defence budgets, will be at the center of the “informal” meeting which will bring together the 28 – soon 29 – chiefs of state and government of the Alliance on 25 May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
The leader of the organisation described the meeting as “short but important”, as it will aim to “send a strong message of unity and solidarity”.
“The meeting will bring together all the allied leaders and send a strong message of unity and solidarity”, Stoltenberg said on the eve of the meeting to be attended by US President Donald Trump for the first time. “We are going to mark our unity at an inauguration ceremony of the new NATO headquarters, a new home for a modern alliance.”
Insisting again on the message of unity among the allies, the Secretary General explained that the site on which the new headquarters was established was a former military airfield. “We found four unexploded bombs in the ground during construction. Where there was once a battlefield, we built a forum for dialogue between the allies”, said Stoltenberg.
During their meeting, the allied countries will discuss the issue of strengthening the fight against terrorism and will discuss whether NATO should be part of the coalition against Daesh, a central issue in the aftermath of the “barbaric” attack in Manchester, the Secretary-General said. The meeting of heads of state and government “will show that all allies remain united against terrorism in all these forms”, said Stoltenberg.
The rise in defence spending, demanded by the US president, will also be at the center of discussions. “Allies should agree on the preparation of national reports, and they should also take stock once a year on the progress made in this regard”, concluded Stoltenberg.