Stoltenberg wants closer ties between the EU and NATO

John Kerry meets with NATO Secretary-General Jens StoltenbergU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Now that Britain is leaving the European Union, the defense cooperation between the EU and NATO will become even more important, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says.

– Cooperation between NATO and the EU was important even before the referendum in the UK, but now it’s become even more important, said Stoltenberg told reporters on his way to the EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday.

– One of the things I will discuss with EU leaders, is how we can continue to strengthen this cooperation, Stoltenberg said .
According to him, one of the specific areas that will be discussed, is increased cooperation in the central parts of the Mediterranean.
The fact that Britain leaves the EU, does not change Britain’s position in NATO, he stressed.

– Britain will remain a strong and committed ally,  Stoltenberg said.
He also pointed out that the British spends considerable resources on defense.
– Britain is the European country that spends most money on defense. They account for one quarter of the overall defense spending in Europe, he pointed out.
The very next week he will be the host when NATO countries gather for the summit in Warsaw in Poland. Along with the summit in Brussels this week, this will be an important platform to highlight the solidarity between the EU and NATO, says Stoltenberg.
– We are on track to the summit, he assured the press, before heading into talks with EU leaders.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today