The United States and European Armed-Forces in Transatlantic Bond

Defense Secretary Mattis met with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the Pentagon on March 21. The Two leaders discussed range of Defense and Security issues including, countering the emerging challenges, fighting with ISIS and strengthening the Transatlantic Relations.      






Washington DC, March 21, 2017 © US Mission to NATO

But I just also want to say thanks to you personally for your leadership, for the moral example that you set.  NATO, under you, is evolving to defend against aggression and respond to terrorist threats along the southern flank in the Mediterranean and the Turkish border.  
I look forward to engaging with the coalition members who are here this week on the counter-ISIS fight.  And I’m confident that NATO will, as always, be one of the leaders as we deal with this threat.” Highlighted Defense Secretary Mattis during his meeting with the NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the Pentagon. March 21, 2017 © DoD Press Office

Emphasizing the importance of the Transatlantic Relations, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg during his meeting with the Defense Secretary Mattis expressed  : 

“Thank you so much. And thank you for welcoming me and my delegation. It’s great to be here in Washington, and to meet with you. And I also commend you for your strong personal support and leadership when it comes to NATO and the trans-Atlantic bond.”

“I think we all understand that in times of turmoil, in times of uncertainty, the need for strong international institutions as NATO is even greater.  So therefore, we need to adapt.  We need to strengthen NATO in response to the challenges and the — and the unpredictability we see surrounding us today.
Strong NATO is, of course, good for Europe, and we are also grateful for the commitment of the United States to the security guarantees to Europe.  But strong NATO is also good for North America because stability in Europe is good for all of us.  Two world wars and the cold war have taught us all that peace and stability in Europe is important for Europe of course, but also for North America.
So I’m looking forward to go through the whole NATO and U.S. agenda, and discuss how we can continue to adapt NATO to a new and more demanding security” Pentagon,  March 21, 2017 © DoD Press Office

Defense Secretary Mattis, on the same day, met with  Defense Minister Niinisto of Finland at the Pentagon. 

“Minister, you’re very welcome here in the Pentagon.  We appreciate you taking your time to visit Washington and to meet here at the Pentagon — two democracies on opposite sides of an ocean, but we share a love of liberty and especially of independence.”

Our democratic nations can collaborate in defense of our values.  And in this regard, I look forward to joining you later this week and discussing our coalition effort against ISIS.  And I thank you for your contributions — the contributions of your elite forces to that fight against ISIS, to the NATO missions that you’ve contributed to and continue to, and of course to the U.N. missions which go even beyond just the purely military.”  Stated Defense Secretary Mattis during his meeting with Defense Minister Niinisto and Ambassador Kauppi of Finalnd. Pentagon, March 21, 2017 © DoD Press Office

Excerpts from the remarks by Defense Minister Niinisto during the meeting with Secretary Mattis at Pentagon:

“Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for receiving our delegation.  Finland takes its defense very seriously, and we see ourselves as providers of security, not consumers.”

“And I must emphasize that U.S.-Finnish bilateral defense relationship is on a strong basis.  The signing of the bilateral statement of intent last October in Helsinki was a concrete step to take the relationship even further.
Active bilateral training and exercise program has been an effective way to increase the interoperability of our forces.  And we look forward to continue this cooperation also in the future.  And I also look forward to a good discussion today.” Pentagon,  March 21, 2017 © DoD Press Office

Defense Secretary Mattis also met with Minister of Defense Maria Dolores de Cospedal of Spain on March 23.                                                                                                                                                                                                             And with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos at the Pentagon on March 24.

Addition: Vice President Pence Re-assured Europe the United States’ Commitment

Sources: U.S DoD Public Affairs/NATO Public Affairs/               Follow us: @USEUWAffairs   


By Catherine Stella Schmidt  (Copy righted material)