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NATO turns 70

"The essential pillar of our defence"

Following their meeting in London, the heads of state and government of NATO member states issued a joint statement, the London Declaration. Earlier in the day, Chancellor Angela Merkel had discussed the situation in Syria with the French and Turkish Presidents and the British Prime Minister. She also met with President Donald Trump. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Donald Trump Chancellor Angela Merkel met with President Donald Trump for bilateral talks on the margins of the NATO summit Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

In London, the heads of state and government of NATO member states have issued a joint declaration. In her closing statement, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of the alliance. She declared, "NATO is the essential pillar of our defence, and will remain so." At the NATO summit, leaders discussed many foreign-policy issues. Within NATO there is a consensus that terrorism is the single largest enemy today, reported the Chancellor. 

Celebrating 70 years of the alliance

To mark the 70th anniversary of NATO and to underline its importance, the leaders of the 29 member states met in the United Kingdom on Tuesday and Wednesday. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg invited them to the NATO Leaders Meeting in London, where the alliance was first based after its founding in 1949.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel also met with President Donald Trump. On the agenda were the situation in Syria and Libya, security in Africa and bilateral economic relations. The new European Commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen could provide new impetus in efforts to address unresolved trade issues between the USA and the EU, said the Chancellor. 

Meeting to discuss the situation in Syria

Following her arrival on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss the situation in Syria. After the meeting, on Tuesday evening, the Chancellor reported that there was agreement that the fight against the so-called Islamic State must continue. "It was a good meeting, a sensible meeting, but it can only be the start of a longer discussion process," she said.

Reception hosted by the Queen

On Tuesday evening the Chancellor and the other NATO leaders attended a reception held by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. This was followed by an informal reception for the heads of state and government, hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street.

Here you will find the London Declaration, issued jointly by the leaders of all NATO member states. 

Dec 04, 2019