Day: May 31, 2016

NATO EVENT CALENDAR

Categories: Defense News

NATO Secretary General discusses Warsaw Summit with Polish President

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Polish President Andrzej Duda met today (30 May 2016) in Warsaw to discuss preparations for the Warsaw Summit. Speaking at a joint press point with the Polish President, Mr. Stoltenberg said that the Warsaw Summit, which will take place in five weeks from now, “comes at a crucial time, when we face the most serious security challenges in a generation”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

The NATO Secretary General praised Poland for playing a big role in shaping the response to current security challenges. He commended Poland for hosting Multinational Corps Northeast and one of NATO’s new small headquarters. Mr. Stoltenberg also thanked Poland for breaking ground on a new site for NATO’s missile defence system, to protect against missile attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. Poland is a major contributor to NATO’s exercises, Baltic air-policing, as well as Alliance-led missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

“Poland is also leading by example on defence spending”, Mr. Stoltenberg said. “You devote 2% of your GDP to defence. And you are making significant investments in new capabilities. I welcome that very much. All of this shows Poland’s leadership and commitment to NATO.”

The NATO Secretary General said that the Warsaw Summit in July will be a “landmark Summit”. The Alliance will take decisions to strengthen its deterrence and defence and step up efforts to project stability beyond its borders. “We have agreed to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our Alliance. This will be a multinational presence. It will be a rotational presence. We have clear proposals on the table from our military planners. We are discussing the exact numbers and locations on this enhanced forward presence of NATO troops; and we will make decisions by the Warsaw Summit. So let me be clear: there will be more NATO troops in Poland after the Warsaw Summit, to send a clear signal that an attack on Poland will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

“We will also expand our efforts to project stability beyond our borders; by supporting partners like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in the east and Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia in the south. We are helping them build stronger defence institutions and train capable forces to secure their own countries”, NATO Secretary General added.

Mr. Stoltenberg also said that the Summit will cement Alliance’s cooperation with key partners, especially the European Union and stressed the need for closer cooperation with the EU in response to hybrid, cyber and maritime security challenges.

On Tuesday (31 May 2016) the NATO Secretary General will deliver a speech at the Warsaw University “The Warsaw Summit: Strengthening NATO in Turbulent Times”. He will also meet with the Polish Minister of National Defence, Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Witold Waszczykowski, and with other senior officials.

Source:NATO

By

L. J. De Rothschild

Senior Editor

Categories: Defense News

NATO Deputy Secretary General: Euro-Atlantic integration is the key to stability in the Balkans

Addressing the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Tirana, Albania (30 May 2016), NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said that “Euro-Atlantic integration is the key to stability here in the Balkans”. The Deputy Secretary General also congratulated Albania on the 7th anniversary of its membership of NATO and said that “NATO’s door is opening once again with the impending membership of Montenegro”. Earlier this month NATO foreign ministers signed the Accession Protocol for Montenegro. “Once the parliaments of all 28 Allies have ratified the Protocol, Albania will have a fellow NATO member on its northern border. This will enhance Albania’s security while fortifying the stability of the western Balkans and the Adriatic region more broadly”, Ambassador Vershbow said.

In his speech Ambassador Vershbow also discussed key issues on NATO’s agenda for the Warsaw Summit in July. “The summit will take place at a critical time for our alliance – a time when our security and our values are facing significant challenges from the south and the east”, he noted.

The Deputy Secretary General said that NATO leaders will take important decisions at the Warsaw Summit on strengthening Alliance’s defence and deterrence, and projecting stability beyond its borders. “I expect leaders at Warsaw to agree on an enhanced forward presence in the East of the Alliance, including multinational, battalion-sized units provided by European and North American Allies. This will make it clear to anyone who would do us harm, from the east or south, that an attack against any Ally will be swiftly met by forces from across the Alliance”, he said.

With regard to projecting stability beyond NATO’s borders, the Deputy Secretary General said: “At the Warsaw Summit, we will intensify our efforts to project stability by boosting the defence capabilities and increasing the resilience of our partners”.

Source: NATO

By

L. J. De Rothschild

Senior Editor

Categories: Defense News

Federal Foreign Office: “German European policy facing great tests. Seven general remarks on the situation in Europe”

30.05.2016

IEP (Institute for European Politics) Lunch Debate with Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth.

***

 

1. Seeing European tests as an opportunity

Many people are concerned about Europe. And they have good reason to be concerned. The refugee crisis, economic and financial crisis, high youth unemployment, the United Kingdom’s potential exit from the EU – these are just some of the tales of woe out there. But we mustn’t forget one thing in all this, namely that crises always mean progress for Europe as they go hand in hand with pressure. And sometimes there is no progress without pressure in the complex construct that is Europe. Together with our partners in Europe, we must continue to work on tangible solutions such as in the financial crisis, or most recently in the area of European refugee policy. We have to remain realistic. We will not always be able to take bold steps forward. We are now too many and too heterogeneous to arrive at swift and ambitious solutions. But, step by step and – first and foremost – through cooperation and solidarity, we will be i n a much stronger position to pass all of these tests than by going it alone.

2. There are no simple solutions to complex problems

We also have to accept this fact. The threats posed by international terrorism, climate change and the impact of the war in Syria are all complex issues that we will not be able to find solutions to overnight. And Europe will not be able to find these solutions by itself. We need to work together with our international partners. But it holds that the bigger a problem is, the more complex the solution. We must therefore give Europe time to develop solutions. Populists’ calls for purportedly simple responses disregard reality. And yet they fall on fertile ground in many quarters. We must not underestimate this threat. The only way to respond to this is by communicating transparently what is possible and what is not. For us, this is a question of credibility.

3. Rediscovering the value of Europe

On his visit to Hanover, President Obama recalled the value of Europe, which is something that Pope Francis also recently did when he accepted the Charlemagne Prize. We Europeans must constantly remind ourselves of this, despite all of the difficulties we face. The integration of the countries of Europe into the EU’s regulatory framework is our guarantee of security, prosperity and peace. Europe is our life insurance in turbulent times. More than 70 years of peace on the European continent cannot be taken for granted – thanks to the EU, conflicts are now resolved at desks and in conference rooms, and no longer on battle fields, as was the case until well into the 20th century. We must not recklessly put this European success story at risk. All of us must take more responsibility in and for Europe.

4. Europe is a team game

European policy only works in a team. All member states – whether big or small, east or west, north or south, founding member or new member – are called upon to keep Europe’s motor running and to give it fresh momentum. We need more team spirit in Europe. The balance between the concerns of individual member states and our shared interests and values must constantly be readjusted. In a community of 28, each member state must be prepared to balance their interests and reach compromises – otherwise we will not be able to find any common responses, which would always be the worst outcome for all concerned.

5. Getting Europe’s citizens more involved

The debate about Europe’s future, the forces of disintegration and trends towards renationalisation cannot only be held by experts. At the same time, we must not give right-wing populists and their purportedly simple answers free rein. We must pursue the dialogue on Europe openly and honestly. Part of this is acknowledging the fact that Europe is not a passionate cause that everyone shares, but is often a question of weighing up costs and benefits. This is why we must make the argument for the benefits of joint action – simply calling for more Europe is not enough. We must demonstrate that cooperative approaches to cross-border problems are more effective than countries plotting a lone course.

6. Putting European values into practice and listening to each others’ needs and interests

The EU is a community of shared values. These values bind us together far more closely than all economic links. We must preserve and defend these values in our everyday lives in Europe. This is an ongoing task facing our European society – after all, in Europe, member states’ societies have long since ceased only to think of themselves, but must listen to the others’ needs and interests. By implication, the traditional principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries no longer applies in the EU.

7. Redefining Germany’s role in Europe

As the largest member state of the EU, Germany has a leading role to play, whether we like it nor not. We must accept this task not as an end in itself, but out of conviction. After all, we in particular have benefited tremendously from the European integration process. We must therefore be able to deal with the fact that some call for greater commitment on our part while others reject such a course. However, we need to be keenly aware of differing perceptions and interests – we must see Europe through our partners’ eyes and empathise with them. Only then will we be able to expect a willingness to compromise and solidarity and be in a position to take joint steps for the benefit of all.

Categories: Politics

Secretary Kerry’s Travel to France, Mongolia, and China

Press Statement

John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
May 30, 2016

 


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Paris, France; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Beijing, China, June 2–8.

Secretary Kerry will travel to Paris, France, June 2–4. The Secretary will participate in the French-hosted ministerial on Middle East peace, and meet separately with Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to discuss the Counter-ISIL Coalition efforts in Iraq and Syria, as well as a host of other issues.

The Secretary will then travel to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where he will meet with senior government officials. He will also host a town hall with young leaders and attend a traditional Mongolian cultural festival.

Secretary Kerry will travel to Beijing, China, June 5–7. Secretary Kerry and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew, as President Obama’s Special Representatives, will join their respective Chinese co-chairs, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang, as President Xi’s Special Representatives, along with members of the U.S. delegation and their Chinese colleagues for the eighth U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).

The Dialogue will focus on the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global areas of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest.

Secretary Kerry will also join Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong for the seventh annual U.S.–China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), to be held concurrently with the S&ED. The CPE promotes and strengthens people-to-people ties between the United States and China in the fields of education, culture, science and technology, sports, women’s issues, and health. It provides a high-level annual forum for government and private-sector representatives to discuss cooperation on exchanges in a broad, strategic manner.

Categories: U.S