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Belgium: 'We have to overcome these disagreements' – Stoltenberg on NATO criticism

1 20.11.2019 Инфо

M/S NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives for presser, Brussels
W/S Stoltenberg and journalists
SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General: "Most of the time we agree, and then we make decisions and then we move forward and other times we see that there are some disagreements. There is no way to deny that there are disagreements on issues like trade, like climate change, Iran nuclear deal and most recently on how to deal with the situation in northeast Syria. But the message is that we have to overcome these disagreements, because it is so essential both for Europe and for the United States that we stand united."
W/S Stoltenberg answering questions
SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General: "The strength of NATO is that despite these disagreements we have always been able to unite around our core tasks to protect and defend each other and that is my aim, and I am absolutely certain I will manage to do that also this time."
W/S Stoltenberg answering questions
SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General: "I welcome all efforts to strengthen the European pillar in NATO. Meaning I welcome EU efforts on defence, but not as an alternative to NATO, not as something that can replace NATO, but something that can complement NATO. Because any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken NATO, it will also divide Europe. So I believe in European unity but European unity cannot substitute for transatlantic unity, we need both."
M/S Stoltenberg answering questions
W/S NATO headquarters
SCRIPT
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejected doubts over the current state of the alliance, in Brussels on Wednesday, saying disagreements need to be discussed in order to focus on the organisation's core goals.
"There is no way to deny that there are disagreements on issues like trade, like climate change, Iran nuclear deal and most recently on how to deal with the situation in northeast Syria. But the message is that we have to overcome these disagreements, because it is so essential both for Europe and for the United States that we stand united," he said. "The strength of NATO is that despite these disagreements we have always been able to unite around our core tasks to protect and defend each other."
He added, "I welcome EU efforts on defence, but not as an alternative to NATO, not as something that can replace NATO, but something that can complement NATO."
Stoltenberg was addressing comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, who complained about the "brain death" of the alliance.
NATO foreign ministers are currently gathered in Brussels to prepare a summit due to be held in December.