- Title: Transatlantic bond at the core of NATO meeting, Stoltenberg says
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (DECEMBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) PHOTOGRAPHER
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 11:07
- Keywords: NATO European Union United States transatlantic Russia Stoltenberg
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Reuters ID: LVA0095BQXM4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The transatlantic bond will be at the heart of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday (December 6).
"At the core of the meeting is the importance of the transatlantic bond, the bond between Europe and North America. And one way of strengthening the bond between North America and Europe is by strengthening the cooperation between NATO and European Union," Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks to the media.
Later in the day, the allies would endorse 40 proposals to deepen NATO and European Union cooperation, Stoltenberg said.
Foreign ministers were meeting for the first time since the election of Donald Trump in the United States, who questioned NATO's mutual defence guarantee during his election campaign.
Questioned on Russia's desire to cooperate with the U.S. leadership - expressed by President Vladimir Putin last week - and whether NATO would work towards better cooperation with Russia, Stoltenberg said he would pursue its "dual track approach".
"We welcome everything that can or anything that can improve the conditions for a dialogue with Russia. We believe that especially when tensions run high, it is particularly important to have dialogue, to have direct communications and we don't want a new cold war, we don't see confrontation with Russia," he said.
Later on in the day, the meeting would focus on NATO's efforts to project stability beyond its borders, to the south and east, Stoltenberg told reporters.
On Wednesday (December 7) foreign ministers will meet to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, with a final meeting expected to discuss Afghanistan.
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