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US Commitment to NATO Article 5 Rock Solid - Defense Secretary

Sputnik News

15:55 16.02.2017(updated 16:55 16.02.2017)

The US commitment to the Article 5 of NATO charter on collective defense is "rock solid," US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Article 5 of NATO charte stipulates the rules of collective defence, what means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed all NATO defense ministers' commitment to collective defense.

"Our collective defense commitment, our Article 5 [of NATO's founding treaty] is unconditional. And that was expressed clear and loudly from all the participants in the meeting yesterday and today… This is absolute security guarantees, we support each other," Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

The Article 5 was invoked for the first time after 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some collective measures have also been taken in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis.

The NATO head added that Washington, despite repeated statements of President Donald Trump about plans to change the country's stance toward alliance, confirmed its commitment to the organization and its basic principles.

"[US Defense] Secretary Mattis confirmed the strong commitment of the United States to European security and to NATO alliance, and to collective defense," Stoltenberg said.

During his presidential campaign, Trump said NATO had become obsolete and threatened to decrease US support to European NATO members who failed to fulfill their financial obligations, particularly related to defense spending.

On Monday, Trump said the United States supported NATO, noting though that member states should make their proper financial contributions to the alliance.

The NATO Defense Ministers meeting is held on February 15-16 in Brussels.


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