Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Stoltenberg spoke about a dual approach to Russian Federation

Turkish FM meets newly-appointed US counterpart Pompeo to discuss Afghanistan in Brussels At NATO meeting, Pompeo agrees to combat Russian aggression - | Continuous News | Butte, Montana
Deanna Wagner | 28 April, 2018, 10:41

Stoltenberg discussed with the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo NATO's policies regarding Russian Federation, the main attention was focused on countering hybrid threats.

The foreign ministers will also make preparations for July's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit to be held in Brussels.

"I did come straight away - I was sworn in yesterday afternoon, hopped on a plane and came straight here", Pompeo told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg upon arriving at the alliance's headquarters.

But Pompeo brought a second, tougher message on the need for other member states to increase their military spending and thus reduce the burden placed on the alliance's biggest member. Another of Pompeo's objectives in Brussels is to prod allies, particularly Germany, to meet their commitments to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024, according to the official. "We encourage Pakistan to act on its stated support for a political solution to the Afghan conflict, to close terrorist sanctuaries and to work to prevent terrorist financial flows and cross-border attacks, including by working with its neighbours." said the statement.

Earlier this month, welcoming the presidents of the three Baltic republics on NATO's eastern flank with Russia, Trump praised them over the older partner states in western Europe.

One of Pompeo's other goals in Brussels was to convince Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a separate meeting to refocus on coordination in northern Syria, where Turkey has been attacking Kurdish rebels supported by the U.S.

Pompeo emphasized the "the scale of Russian aggression and the need for the West to show unity", the US State Department official said.

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"We will underscore how important it is for all allies to take this threat seriously, to honour their commitment from the Wales summit", he added. "The president very much wanted me to get here".

"We started our discussion with Russian Federation and the long-term consequences of its foreign and defence policy".

Read alsoHead of NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel: We are heading to make Ukrainian defense forces capable and credible enough to deter any potential aggressionHe said he was careful to describe consensus "when there were lots of different voices about how to approach it and what the right actions there ought to be to achieve it".

"It's something new", - said Stoltenberg.

Ministers will also debate plans to expand NATO's training mission in Iraq. The mission will have "several hundred personnel", Stoltenberg noted.

The new secretary of state is set to begin a Middle East tour over the weekend, with visits planned for Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.