NATO FMs agree to step up cooperation with EU

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BRUSSELS,  (Xinhua) — NATO foreign ministers agreed to step up cooperation with the European Union, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday at a press conference following the ministerial meeting.

He mentioned three new areas where the two blocs will strengthen cooperation: military mobility, information sharing in the fight against terrorism, and promoting women’s role in peace and security.

“Moving our forces and equipment quickly is vital for our security. This means we need procedures for rapid border crossing, as well as sufficient transport assets and robust infrastructure,” said Stoltenberg.

“And our aim is to make military mobility a new flagship for the NATO-EU cooperation,” he added.

As for the fight against terrorism, Stoltenberg said NATO and the EU decided to strengthen the exchange of information and to coordinate counter-terrorism support for partner countries.

“We are taking cooperation between NATO and the EU to a new level,” NATO chief said.

Talking about the EU’s efforts to strengthen European defense through permanent structured cooperation and the European defense fund, Stoltenberg said, “These steps can lead to increased defense spending, more modern capabilities, and fairer transatlantic burden sharing.”

He reaffirmed that these efforts should “complement what NATO does.”

Stoltenberg added, “NATO has ensured European peace and security for almost seventy years, and remains the cornerstone of our collective defence.”

NATO and the EU have signed a joint declaration and agreed on a series of concrete measures to strengthen cooperation on some key areas, including countering hybrid threats, maritime security, and cyber defense.