NATO have agreed on joint statement after summit
The NATO member states have agreed to a final statement after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s summit. The United States is still, at least officially, in favour of the principle of “all for one.” They additionally invites Macedonia in from the cold.
– After the meeting, nobody expressed any objection to the statement, says Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives).
In the run-up to the summit, there was a lot of tension between the United States and the other member states.
– We have our disagreements, but the most important thing is that we made decisions that bring NATO forward, says Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
He points to the accord aimed at strengthening the alliance’s determent and defense capabilities. He also emphasizes that many NATO leaders have promised additional contributions to achieve this.
Confirms validity of § 5
The ratified statement refers to Article 5, which states that any attack on any NATO member should be considered as an attack on all member states. The United States thereby confirm its backing of this key element, disregarding some of Trump’s hints to the contrary.
The United States is however critical to that the country picks up the lion’s share of the bill. The US defense budget constitutes almost 3.6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Many NATO members spend less than 2 per cent of GDP. US President Donald J. Trump has demanded that member states commit to paying at least 2 per cent.
Stoltenberg points to that last year only three member states reached the 2 per cent target at the press conference. Another five member states have presently announced that they will achieve that goal, the NATO big wig states.
On questions from the press, Stoltenberg states that it is natural for the NATO to spend more money in times fraught with tension.
NATO invites FYR Macedonia to join
The NATO leaders have sent a formal invitation to FYR Macedonia to become a member of the alliance, after the conflict with Greece regarding the name has been resolved.
The invitation formally opens for the sovereign state to become NATO’s member state number 30.
The country and Greece signed a deal last month in which Macedonia agrees to rename itself to North Macedonia. Athens will in return no longer block for membership in NATO and EU.
Macron denies Trumps claim regarding NATO budgets
President of France, Emmanuel Macron, denies his US counterparts claim that NATO agree to spend even more money on defense.
– Everybody in the room was amicable and they agreed to pay more and to do it at a faster rate, according to Trump.
The French President promptly refuted Trump’s claim, pointing out that the NATO member states have not agreed to further increases to their defense budgets.N The Alliance partners decided in 2014 to increase defense budgets to 2 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product by 2024.
Macron also says that Trump “did not threaten to withdraw the United States from NATO at any time, either in public or private.”
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today