NATO Summit: Tension on the alliance’s 70th birthday

NATO Summit: Tension on the alliance’s 70th birthday
Covid-19
04.12.2019
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Nato leaders have released a joint statement reaffirming their “enduring transatlantic bond” amid tensions on the alliance’s 70th birthday.

The three-hour talks near London resolved a disagreement with Turkey, which was blocking Nato’s updated defence plans in the Baltic region.

A row has also been building over a recording of Canadian leader Justin Trudeau talking about Donald Trump.

In response, US President Trump called Mr Trudeau “two-faced”.

President Trump also said he might cancel a planned press conference scheduled for after the summit, telling reporters: “We’ll go directly back. I think we’ve done plenty of news conferences.”

Mr Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron also had sharp exchanges over many topics on Tuesday.

What did the leaders’ joint statement say?

In the statement, Nato leaders said: “To stay secure we must look to the future together.”

It then acknowledged the “challenges” posed by China and Russia, and pledged to take “stronger action” against terrorism.

Although the 29-member bloc’s future is not in doubt, there are disagreements over Turkey’s recent military action in northern Syria; the levels of military spending by members; and recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron that the alliance is “brain dead”.

Despite the divisions, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson – the host of the event – described Nato as a “giant shield of solidarity” that “protects nearly a billion people”, saying at the start of the meeting at a luxury resort in Watford: “As long as we stand together, no-one can hope to defeat us.”

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