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Foreign Minister Paet: Closer Ties Between Europe and USA are Essential Part of Security Guarantee

22.05.2012

No 142-E

At the foreign ministers’ discussion held yesterday in Chicago as part of the NATO summit, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that closer ties between the European allies and the United States are essential to the alliance as a whole and to the member states individually. “Closer co-operation between Europe and the US would help NATO be ready to face future challenges and ensure the alliance’s relevance and capabilities,” he noted.

Paet also said that it is important that European countries fulfil the responsibilities they have accepted. “In accordance with the prior agreement, Estonia feels it is important that defence spending is 2% of a country’s GDP,” he noted. “At the same time, a temporary reduction in defence spending should not be allowed to affect NATO’s capabilities,” Paet said.

During the meeting, the foreign minister emphasised the important of relations with NATO partners and potential future members. “NATO’s open-door policy has been successful in spreading security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond,” he added.

Paet said that every European country that meets the requirements set out by the North Atlantic Treaty and contributes to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region deserves NATO membership. “But accession to NATO is and must always be dependent on a country’s accomplishments. The country conforming to the conditions of Article 10 of the Washington Treaty is essential,” he added.

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