Madrid (02/07 – 27.27) Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday thanked Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez for hosting a “pivotal” summit in Madrid, where the Western alliance is due to agree on its strategic roadmap for the next decade.
The Norwegian politician and Sánchez addressed the press at the Ifema conference facilities in northeast Madrid, where the summit, the most important in Nato’s recent history, will take place amid tight security until Thursday.
“The Madrid Summit will be a pivotal summit. We will agree a new strategic concept, the Madrid Strategic Concept, that will be the blueprint for Nato in a more dangerous and unpredictable world,” Stoltenberg said, after thanking the Spanish PM for providing the “perfect” facilities for the meeting of Nato leaders.
He added that it demonstrated Spain’s commitment to Nato.
“And also actually, this happens the same year as you mark the 40th anniversary of Spain joining our alliance,” he said.
The Nato chief said leaders would agree on a comprehensive assistance package to help Ukraine “uphold the right for self-defense” against Russia’s invasion.
“It is extremely important that we are ready to continue to provide support because Ukraine now faces brutality which we haven’t seen in Europe since the Second World War.”
Leaders will also use the summit to try to find a breakthrough for Sweden and Finland’s accession to the alliance, which is currently being vetoed by Turkey, Nato’s second-largest army, which is seeking changes to the Nordic countries’ policies on Kurdish organizations regarded by Ankara as terror groups as well as an end to an arms embargo.
Broaching that topic at the press conference Tuesday, Sánchez said: “We are all waiting to see the result of the conversations being led by the secretary general for the incorporation of two very important democracies in the European context for the Atlantic alliance, Sweden and Finland.”
The Spanish PM reiterated his country’s bid to highlight the security challenges arising from Nato’s southern flank, in particular from restive areas like the Sahel, in the next strategic concept.