NATO head: No guarantee trans-Atlantic alliance will survive

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, delivers a pre-NATO summit speech at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The secretary-general of NATO says bonds between Europe and North America have weakened, and he appealed for an international effort to shore up the trans-Atlantic military alliance. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, listens to a question after delivering a pre-NATO summit speech at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The secretary-general of NATO says bonds between Europe and North America have weakened, and he appealed for an international effort to shore up the trans-Atlantic military alliance. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, wipes sweat from his brow as he listens to a question after delivering a pre-NATO summit speech at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The secretary-general of NATO says bonds between Europe and North America have weakened, and he appealed for an international effort to shore up the trans-Atlantic military alliance. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — The bonds between Europe and North America are under strain and there's no guarantee the trans-Atlantic partnership will survive, the head of NATO warned Thursday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for an effort to shore up the military alliance amid the divisions between Europe and the United States over trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.

"It is not written in stone that the trans-Atlantic bond will survive forever," Stoltenberg said during a speech in London. "But I believe we will preserve it."

NATO has been shaken by U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" stance and mistrust of international institutions. Trump once called NATO obsolete and has repeatedly berated other members of the 29-nation alliance of failing to spend enough on defense.

Ahead of a NATO summit in July, Stoltenberg said "we may have seen the weakening" of some bonds between North America and Europe. But he insisted that "maintaining the trans-Atlantic partnership is in our strategic interests."

Stoltenberg said the world faced "the most unpredictable security environment in a generation" due to terrorism, proliferating weapons of mass destruction, cyberattacks and an assertive Russia.

"We must continue to protect our multilateral institutions like NATO, and we must continue to stand up for the international rules-based order," he said.

After meeting Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing St., Stoltenberg praised Britain, one of a minority of NATO countries to meet a target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

He said that despite differences between the U.S. and Europe, NATO delivered "trans-Atlantic unity" every day.

"We have had differences before, and the lesson of history is that we overcome these differences every time," Stoltenberg said.

Some European officials worry the Trump administration is cool on efforts to hold Russia to account for misdeeds including election meddling and the nerve-agent poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in England, which the U.K. blames on Moscow.

At a G-7 summit this month, Trump suggested that Russia should be readmitted to the group of industrial powers, from which it was expelled over its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Some U.S. allies are concerned by reports that Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin when the American leader travels to Europe for the NATO summit next month.

But Stoltenberg said meeting Putin does not contradict NATO policies.

"We are in favor of dialogue with Russia," he said. "We don't want a new cold war. We don't want a new arms race. We don't want to isolate Russia."

You may also interested in

Uber to investigate sexual harassment claim by...

Feb 20, 2017

Uber's CEO has ordered an investigation into a sexual harassment claim made by a female engineer...

Welcome to your new office: A stranger's living...

Mar 2, 2017

The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in...

EU citizens in UK anxiously seek security before...

Mar 19, 2017

German neuroscientist Sam Schwarzkopf was startled to receive a letter from the British government...

3 airliners in near-misses with drones at...

Mar 31, 2017

A new report says three airliners just missed colliding with drones near London's Heathrow Airport

US strikes on Syria keep a lid on global stocks...

Apr 7, 2017

Soft U.S. jobs data and the decision by President Donald Trump to authorize the firing of U.S....

Sign up now!

About Us

Future Science Today reports on captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us.

Contact us: sales[at]futuresciencetoday.com