Washington D.C. – The whole week is all about NATO in Washington D.C. and Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO was invited to speak to the foreign media to give a preview on the NATO 70th Anniversary Foreign Ministerial Meetings.
She started her remarks on a happy tone and said that “she was with the Secretary General on the way in as well” and he is looking forward to address a Joint Session of Congress on 3rd April, 2019 – which would be a first ever speech by NATO Chief at the Capitol Hill. She further said that a recent poll demonstrated overwhelming support by America for NATO.
Ambassador Hutchison underscored about the 70 years of peace and prosperity, which NATO produced for Europe and North America. She said NATO has built and gained strength based on the “ability to adapt and to see what the risks are and adapt to those risks.”
Ambassador Hutchison cited the greatest risk today is the “Russian behavior and the aggression seen recently in the Kerch Straits” when Russia attacked and captured the three Ukrainian ships and took their sailors to prison. She added that for the next two days at the ministerial meetings, they will be talking about this Russian behavior being unacceptable as they hold those sailors in prison in Moscow till now.
On Russia further, Ambassador added “they will be talking about Russia’s violation of the INF treaty which is going to require that the INF Treaty be dismantled.” Moreover, she stated that America will have to withdraw because Russia has been violating, which is documented, over five years and now need has arrived to prepare our deterrence for the violating missiles.
Another important point, Ambassador Hutchison shared with the foreign media was about “burden sharing” and that is something the President has focused on. And the President’s pressure on our allies and more spending by our allies will also be a vital issue to address in these ministerial meetings.
In wrapping up on “to do more” philosophy, Ambassador stated that they need to make the ships, the airplanes, the helicopters and the tanks to be able to carry the overall deterrence that have been discussed. And of course, we are asking our allies “to do more” to meet the 2 percent pledge that they all made, most recently in Brussels, but before that in Wales and Warsaw.
She ended her remarks on a note of positivity that “we will start tomorrow with the joint session of Congress, where the Secretary General Stoltenberg will speak and he will talk about the 70 year celebration and all that we have accomplished in 70 years. And then the foreign ministerial meeting with our 29 allies, foreign ministers will be on April the 4th which is the actual 70th anniversary where we will talk about our situation today and our future for security for all of us.”
Exclusive News Report By: Kanwal Abidi – White House Correspondent & Bureau Chief, Washington D.C.