The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be a full member of the global coalition against the Islamic State (IS), NATO chief said. The chief also hinted that NATO members may agree to shoulder fairer responsibility on defence spending in response to heavy criticism from the visiting US President Donald Trump, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We agreed that NATO will become a full member of the global coalition, in which all 28 allies already take part,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference after Thursday’s NATO summit.
“Being in the coalition does not mean that NATO will engage in combat,” he told reporters, adding that the decision taken by leaders of NATO’s 28 allied nations aimed to send a strong signal to fight global terrorism.
NATO will also take part in political deliberations, including on the coordination of training and capacity building, he added. Hinting at fairer share in defence spending by member-nations, Stoltenberg said: “We will take decisions to share more fairly the burden of our security.”
Stoltenberg’s remarks came following harsh criticism from Trump, who has slammed allies of the organisation for falling short of paying their spending share on the fourth leg of his first oversea trip in Brussels.
“The bond between NATO Allies has kept our people safe since the Alliance was founded almost 70 years ago. We are here today to strengthen that bond,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg admitted that members varied in many aspects and difference emerges including “political perspectives,” urging allied members to “rise above those differences” and “unite around their common purpose”.
NATO leaders from 28 allied countries gathered here for their first meeting at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, with military spending, counterterrorism on the agenda.