Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Bulgarian Defense Minister is on a Working Visit to Brussels

Bulgarian Defense Minister is on a Working Visit to Brussels

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the initial batch of national military-expenditure plans demanded by the US shows progress toward a goal for alliance members to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization hailed its first annual review of members' defense-spending plans amid persistent US calls for European allies to foot more of the collective security bill. "We all agreed we have made great progress but there is still much work to be done".

On the one hand, American defense spending has dropped compared to 2010, but Canada and NATO's European members taken together have not increased their spending in return until 2017.

"No other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally has suffered more terrorist attacks, but we expect Turkey to respond in a proportionate and measured way", Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.

"Secretary Mattis thanked the minister for hosting US forces and expressed appreciation for Poland's continuing contributions to regional and global security", she said.

The member states' defense ministers will meet in June to decide on timelines and locations of the new commands, he added.

"80% of communication networks go by sea, and we must ensure their safety at sea and under water", - said the NATO Secretary General.

The EU's so-called permanent structured cooperation on defence agreement, known as PESCO, has projects in view already to develop new military equipment and improve cooperation and decision-making.

Stoltenberg said the right balance could be struck.

Stoltenberg has warned there was "no way" the EU could replace the transatlantic alliance in guaranteeing European security.

The NATO chief reiterated his comments on Turkey's Operation Olive Branch saying Turkey had informed the alliance on the operation.

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