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Belgium: 'We have to overcome these disagreements' – Stoltenberg on NATO criticism02:00

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

Belgium, Brussels
November 20, 2019 at 16:08 GMT +00:00 · Published

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.

Belgium: 'We have to overcome these disagreements' – Stoltenberg on NATO criticism02:00
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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.

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