Leaders of NATO countries reaffirm bond on alliance's 70th anniversary

Leaders of NATO countries reaffirm bond on alliance's 70th anniversary

Leaders of NATO countries reaffirm bond on alliance's 70th anniversary Izvor: REUTERS

Heads of state or government of NATO's member-states, who gathered in London for the 70th anniversary of the alliance, on Wednesday adopted a declaration reaffirming "the enduring transatlantic bond between Europe and North America", international media outlets reported.

The text of the London declaration, adopted at the end of the two-day summit meeting, reads that the member-states' leaders "reaffirm the enduring transatlantic bond between Europe and North America" and also "our adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and our solemn commitment as enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against us all."

"To stay secure, we must look to the future together," say the participants in the London gathering.

"In challenging times, we are stronger as an Alliance, and our people safer. Our bond and mutual commitment have guaranteed our freedoms, our values, and our security for seventy years. We act today to ensure that NATO guarantees those freedoms, values, and security for generations to come," reads the last point of the 9-point declaration.

Also the participants say in the declaration that they "recognise that China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance," and also that they "remain open for dialogue, and to a constructive relationship with Russia when Russia’s actions make that possible."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenber has announced increased defence spending by Allies.

According to information on NATO's web site, Stoltenberg announced that in 2019 defence spending across European Allies and Canada increased in real terms by 4.6 %, making this the fifth consecutive year of growth.

He also revealed that by the end of 2020, those Allies will have invested $130 billion more since 2016. Based on the latest estimates, the accumulated increase in defence spending by the end of 2024 will be $400 billion.

Stoltenberg was quoted as saying that "this is unprecedented progress and it is making NATO stronger."

Croatia's plan is to increase its defence budget

During the summit meeting Croatia's delegation was led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

Croatia arrived at the London summit with a plan to increase its defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2024 and to allocate 20% of the defence budget for equipment and modernisation.

During the event, Plenkovic held a few bilateral meetings with other heads of state or government of NATO's member-states.

Plenkovic also said that the atmosphere had been good during the reception by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and later by the summit host, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Tuesday evening.

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