By Deirdre Tynan • 14 June 2021 • 6:57
Busy Boris Johnson is travelling to Brussels today to a NATO meeting ahead of a briefing that will likely see UK lockdown restrictions extended. His full diary comes after he hosted world leaders in Cornwall for three days this past weekend.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels on June 14 for the first meeting of NATO leaders since 2019 and since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the election of President Biden.
Discussions are expected to focus on Russia, Afghanistan and strengthening NATO for the future.
The Prime Minister is expected to say, “NATO is not just important to the UK’s security, it is our security. NATO owes it to the billion people we keep safe every day to continually adapt and evolve to meet new challenges and face down emerging threats. This will ensure NATO is still the bedrock of global defence for generations to come.
“As we recover from the global devastation wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic we need to do so with secure foundations. The peace and stability brought by NATO has underpinned global prosperity for over 70 years, and I have every confidence it will continue to do so now.”
Earlier this year the UK published a wholescale review of its foreign, defence and security policy. “The Integrated Review demonstrated our unwavering commitment to Euro-Atlantic security and the NATO alliance, underpinned by a £24.1 billion investment in the UK’s defence capability,” the government said in a statement on June 14.
Boris Johnson is also expected to tell fellow leaders that the global recovery from coronavirus must be underpinned by our shared security. The pandemic has been exacerbated by attacks on that security, both directly through hostile actors carrying out cyber-attacks on allies’ health systems, and indirectly through the devastating impact instability and conflict can have on countries’ ability to cope with health crises.
“The coronavirus pandemic has therefore reinforced the value of NATO and allies must redouble their commitment for the alliance and ensure it adapts to meet the challenges of the future,” the statement added.
The UK is Europe’s leading contributor to NATO and is equipping the alliance with next-generation capabilities. This includes the commitment of cyber capability to NATO and the deployment of the Carrier Strike Group, which is currently participating in exercises in the Mediterranean alongside Allies as part of a NATO taskforce before sailing to the Indo-Pacific.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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