NATO leaders say terrorism remains 'persistent threat'
In a joint declaration, the alliance's 29 leaders said: "Russia's aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all."
The alliance reaffirmed “our solemn commitment as enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against us all,” referring to NATO's founding document.
The remarks came as part of the final declaration of this week’s NATO 70th anniversary summit held in London.
The alliance said the summit was held “to celebrate seventy years of the strongest and most successful Alliance in history, and mark the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain.”
The declaration said NATO “guarantees the security of our territory and our one billion citizens, our freedom, and the values we share, including democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law.”
The document also mentioned the ongoing debate over boosting defense investment, investing in new capabilities, and contributing more forces to NATO missions and operations.
NATO said it is facing distinct threats and challenges emanating from all strategic directions.
“State and non-state actors challenge the rules-based international order. Instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration. We face cyber and hybrid threats,” the declaration underlined.
Adding that NATO is a defensive alliance, the summit document said it “poses no threat to any country.”
Fight against terrorism
NATO also underlined that it stands firm “in our commitment to the fight against terrorism and are taking stronger action together to defeat it.”
It said: “We are addressing and will continue to address in a measured and responsible way Russia’s deployment of new intermediate-range missiles, which brought about the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and which pose significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.”
“We are increasing action to protect our freedoms at sea and in the air. We are further strengthening our ability to deter and defend with an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional, and missile defence capabilities, which we continue to adapt.”
“As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”
The final declaration also said the alliance is “fully committed to the preservation and strengthening of effective arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation, taking into account the prevailing security environment,” signaling that it will remain “open for dialogue, and to a constructive relationship with Russia when Russia’s actions make that possible.”
In the document, NATO reaffirmed commitment to long-term security and stability with Afghanistan, the UN and partnership across “our neighborhood and beyond”.
The declaration said North Macedonia, which was represented at the summit, will become the organization’s newest ally.
The document also touched upon the necessity of addressing the breadth and scale of new technologies while preserving our values and norms.
“We recognise that China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance,” NATO said.
“In challenging times, we are stronger as an Alliance, and our people safer. Our bond and mutual commitment have guaranteed our freedoms, our values, and our security for seventy years. We act today to ensure that NATO guarantees those freedoms, values, and security for generations to come,” it said.