NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the recent German White Paper on Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr – including the German government’s commitment to participate even more in shaping international security – in an address to Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) parliamentarians in the Bundestag on Friday (2 September 2016). He outlined how NATO is responding to challenges from the east and the south of the Alliance, stressing the importance of closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union.
Earlier on Friday, the Secretary General discussed NATO’s response to current security challenges with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. They agreed on the importance of NATO’s efforts to help cut the lines of human trafficking in the Aegean Sea, and reviewed the Alliance’s capacity-building work with southern partners – focusing on Iraq, where NATO will soon begin military training. They further welcomed that NATO AWACS surveillance planes will soon provide information to the Global Coalition to counter ISIL. Mr Stoltenberg thanked Minister von der Leyen for Germany’s many contributions to the Alliance, in particular for leading one of four battalions that NATO will soon rotate through the Baltic States and Poland.
The Secretary General also held talks with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier which focused on arms control initiatives and the Alliance’s relationship with Russia. The two leaders reaffirmed the Alliance’s dual-track approach of pursuing defence and dialogue, and Mr Stoltenberg welcomed Minister Steinmeier’s recent proposal to engage Russia in renewed talks on modernising the conventional arms control regime in Europe.