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huffpost – Biden hopes to appease allies and renew U.S. commitment to NATO at summit

BRUSSELS (AP) – President Joe Biden enters NATO summit to consult with European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia while underscoring state commitment- United towards the alliance of 30 countries which has been frequently criticized by his predecessor Donald Trump.

Monday’s summit comes as Biden attempts to rally allies for greater coordination in control of China and Russia, two adversaries whose actions on the economic and national security fronts have become primary policy concerns foreign at the start of Biden’s presidency.

Biden will use his time at the summit to underscore the United States’ commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all and must elicit a collective response.

“I will make it clear that the US commitment to our NATO alliance and Article 5 is rock solid,” Biden told US troops in the UK last week during the first leg of his eight-day European trip. “It is a sacred obligation.


YVES HERMAN via Getty Images

President Joe Biden will begin his day with a meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank regarding the “threat posed by Russia”, China and the recent air piracy in Belarus. He will also meet with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

The White House said the communiqué that will be signed by alliance members at the end of the NATO summit should include language on updating Article 5 to include major cyber attacks – a topic of growing concern amid a spate of hacks targeting the US government and businesses. worldwide by Russian-based hackers.

The update will clarify that if an alliance member needs technical or intelligence support in response to a cyber attack, they can invoke the mutual defense provision for assistance, according to the security adviser. National White House National, Jake Sullivan.

The president will start his day by meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank regarding the “threat posed by Russia”, China and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to Sullivan. He will also meet with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

Biden’s route to Europe was designed for him to meet first with the leaders of the Group of Seven for a three-day summit on the rugged Cornish coast, and then with NATO allies in Brussels before his long-awaited meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Wednesday.

At the G-7, leaders sought to make it clear that the club of wealthy democracies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – is a better friend of poorer nations than authoritarian rivals. like China and Russia.

The G-7 meeting ended with a statement denouncing forced labor practices and other human rights violations affecting Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang province. The president declined to discuss private summit negotiations over the provision, but said he was “satisfied” with the statement, though differences remain among allies over how hard to call Beijing.

Biden focuses on building a more cohesive bond between America and its allies who had grown suspicious of US leadership after enduring four years of abuse from Trump and frequent slurs over the relevance of multilateral alliances like NATO.

The latest administration disagreed with some of the major NATO members, including Britain, Germany and France, over Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration. The deal curtailed Iran’s uranium enrichment program in exchange for easing sanctions.

Trump and other critics felt the deal gave Tehran too many economic advantages without doing enough to prevent Iran from eventually developing a nuclear weapon. The Biden administration is now looking for a way to resurrect the deal.

Trump also complained that the NATO alliance allows “global parasitic” countries to spend less on military defense at the expense of the United States and called the alliance “obsolete.”

Biden offered a sharp retort on Sunday, saying, “We don’t see NATO as some kind of protection racket. We believe that NATO is vital to our ability to maintain American security for the rest of the century. And there is a real craze.

When members of the alliance last gathered for a summit in England in December 2019, Trump grabbed the headlines by calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “double-sided” and French President Emanuel Macron of ” mean “.

Trump went on a rampage after Trudeau was caught in a hot mic chatting with other leaders about how Trump turned photo opportunities into lengthy press conferences. Prior to the summit, Macron had declared NATO “brain dead” due to a vacuum in American leadership under Trump.

Biden has already recognized during his tour of Europe that the alliance needs to ensure better burden sharing and needs stronger American leadership. He also highlighted the contributions of NATO members in the war in Afghanistan.

The United States and the alliance are ending their involvement in the nearly 20-year war that has killed tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 3,500 American and allied troops, while raising deep questions as to whether if NATO’s most ambitious effort was worth it.

The military effort followed the arrival in 2001 of a US-led coalition that overthrew the Taliban for harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

For now, NATO plans to leave civilian advisers to help build government institutions. We don’t know who will protect them. The alliance is also considering whether to train Afghan special forces outside the country.

NATO members are also expected to endorse the creation of a new Cyber ​​Defense Policy to improve coordination with countries affected by the increasing frequency of ransomware attacks, a climate security action plan aimed at reducing gas emissions. greenhouse effect from military activities, in accordance with national commitments made under the Paris Agreement. and a commitment to strengthen NATO deterrence to deal with threats from Russia and elsewhere, according to the White House.

Biden will also meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday on the sidelines of the summit.

The two leaders were due to discuss Syria and Iran as well as the role that Turkey can play in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American troops, according to the White House. Also on the agenda: How Washington and Ankara “deal with some of our important differences on values ​​and human rights and other issues,” Sullivan said.

The volatile security situation in Libya, as well as overlapping concerns about China and Russia should also be discussed.

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