NATO leaders posed for photographs together at a summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, June 14, before talks where Russia and China are expected to dominate the agenda.
READ MORE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also greeted U.S. President Joe Biden, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Joe Biden took his ‘America is Back’ message to Brussels, reaffirming the United States' commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in his first NATO summit as U.S. president Monday.
“I just want all of Europe to know that the United States is there. The United States is there,” Biden said in his meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.
Biden said that he takes Article Five, which enshrines the military alliance’s collective defense principle, “as a sacred obligation.”
“I constantly remind Americans, that when America was attacked for the first time in its shores since what happened back – it began in World War Two, NATO stepped up,” Biden said referring to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Stoltenberg said he will consult with Biden on how to address the rising threat of China and Russia, noting that there is “a convergence of views among allies.”
“I know that we can count on America and that America can count on Europe,” Stoltenberg said Monday.
Biden’s visit sets a new tone on relations with the military alliance. His predecessor, former President Donald Trump once called NATO obsolete and complained that the U.S. was paying an unfair share in the organization.
So far, the meetings have been “good optics,” said Alice Billon-Galland, a research fellow at London-based Chatham House, and part of NATO Young Leaders selected to advise the NATO 2030 process. (AP/VOA)