NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. Photo: NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked President Emmanuel Macron for his strong personal commitment to the transatlantic relationship and France’s substantial contributions to the Alliance.
At a meeting at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday (15 May 2018), Mr Stoltenberg highlighted France’s contribution to the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania and to Baltic Air Policing, as well as the country’s role in the fight against terrorism, including in Iraq and the Sahel.
Mr Stoltenberg and President Macron had a strategic discussion on current challenges and the preparations for the Brussels Summit in July.
They addressed NATO’s continued adaptation and modernization, as well as burden sharing within the Alliance. The Secretary General thanked France for its leadership on defence spending, including by outlining a clear plan to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence by 2025.
France also shows leadership on cyber defence, by organising the first Conference on the Cyber Defence Pledge in Paris, with the participation of the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the North Atlantic Council.
Cyber defence is a priority for the Alliance, which deals with cyber-attacks on daily basis and whose members have faced large-scale cyber-attacks over recent years.
In his keynote speech at the conference, the Secretary General highlighted the new challenges brought by cyber-attacks, such as the need to have a full spectrum of responses.
“For almost 70 years, NATO has been the bedrock of transatlantic security. Whether on land, at sea, or in the air. The same is now true in cyberspace,” he said. Mr. Stoltenberg underscored France’s strong commitment to the Cyber Defence Pledge.
“France is leading the way, investing 1.6 billion euros and employing thousands more cyber experts,” added the Secretary General.