News story

UK Defence Secretary reaffirms support to NATO with Secretary-General

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has today met with the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the UK’s leading role in the alliance.

Building on meetings held in the margins of the Munich Security Conference last month, Mr Fallon used the talks to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to NATO as demonstrated by the leading role Britain will play in NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

The meeting focused on this significant contribution and included discussions on ways to ensure the quick deployment of the Task Force whenever and where ever necessary.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The UK’s commitment to NATO remains as strong as ever. Our discussions built significantly on the considerable progress made since Newport. In particular, we agreed on the importance of Member States contributing to the high readiness task force and deploying as part of the Baltic Air Policing Mission. The UK is playing a key role in these areas, and we will continue to work with our closest allies to overcome the threats to security which we collectively face.

The UK is at the forefront of VJTF development, and at last September’s NATO summit in Wales the Prime Minister said the UK would commit 1,000 personnel to the task force on a rotational basis, a pledge reaffirmed by Mr. Fallon earlier this year.

Building on his recent trip to Washington and meetings with US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, the discussions looked at further cooperation with NATO Allies on countering propaganda and misinformation with the Defence Secretary exploring the potential to share intelligence more rapidly with Allies.