Alliance to demonstrate military capacities in NATO summit, British ambassador says
Sevil Erkuş – ANKARA
A NATO flag and flags of many nations fly from the ramparts of Cardiff Castle as a heavy police presence secures the area outside security fencing surrounding the castle ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Newport, Wales. AP PhotThe NATO Summit will demonstrate NATO’s capabilities as a military alliance, British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore said, ahead of the alliance’s Sept. 4-5 meetings in Wales.
“Most critically, the summit has to demonstrate the alliance can be strong, united and can deter aggression, and [that] it’s able to defeat any threat. It’s like a back-to-basics summit for NATO. Because this is about NATO as a military alliance and its ability to deter and defeat the threat it faces,” Moore told a group of journalists Sept. 1.
The theme of the summit is “building stability in an unpredictable world,” the ambassador explained, stressing that this summit comes at a very critical moment.
Relations with Russia, developments in Ukraine and the problems that NATO allies face from instability in Syria and Iraq will be on the forefront of the leaders’ discussions, according to the envoy.
Ambassador Moore cited many goals for the summit, listed as follows:
“Allies need to agree on long-term measures to strengthen NATO’s ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure the allies who are most threatened in terms of security and finally to deter Russian aggression. It’s been a long time, frankly, since a NATO summit has not explicitly spelled out the need to deter Russian aggression,” Moore described as the first goal.
The second proposal is NATO’s future role in Afghanistan. “We need to mark what NATO has achieved through ISIF in Afghanistan [and] look forward to what sort of support – military, financial and political – NATO will give to Afghanistan post-2014,” the ambassador said.
The third is to respect and underline that allies are committed to looking after NATO’s armed forces, Moore noted.
“The fourth point is around modernizing NATO’s capability, keeping the alliance up-to-date with the sort of threats we face in the current world. The one that strikes me in particular is cyber threats. Some 65 years ago, when NATO was set up, these types of threats did not exist, and clearly there is a need to make sure we as the alliance [are] modernizing our individual armed forces and capabilities,” he said.
The fifth goal is to secure commitment from European allies with respect to increasing defense investment. There is an agreed upon target of 2 percent GDP spending on defense, Moore said, noting the current Turkish figure is 1.74 percent. Turkey has made a real commitment by reaching that target, the ambassador said, but others are not quite in that place.
The sixth goal is to deepen partnerships with countries outside of the alliance, under an inter-operability initiative. Moore cited lessons taken from Afghanistan, pointing to the need for NATO to be able work with other countries that are not NATO members.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will hold a full bilateral meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the gathering, the ambassador said.
“I want to emphasize [that] when you have got more than 60 world leaders in one place, the U.K. prime minister cannot see that many people for substantive discussion. The fact that he’s seeing Mr. Erdoğan is notable and reflects both that Mr. Erdoğan is a longstanding leader, but also [that] he presides over a country, Turkey, which is at the heart of some difficult international security issues facing the NATO alliance,” the ambassador said.