Stoltenberg: Brexit will not change UK-NATO ties

BRUSSELS– NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that UK’s exit from the European Union will not affect UK’s ties with the western military Alliance.

“Brexit wil not change UK’s relations to NATO. UK has again and again underlined that they will of course stay in NATO and the UK is very important for NATO,” he told reporters on arrival for a meeting with EU Leaders.

“We have to remember that after Brexit next year 80 percent of NATO’s defence expenditures will come from non-EU Allies and that just highlights the importance of complementarity and not competition between NATO and the EU,” he said.

The NATO chief said he is looking forward to meeting the European leaders today “especially on a day like this because this is an important day for European defence.” EU leaders later today will endorse the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) signed by 25 EU member states to boost defence cooperation.

“I welcome the initiative to strengthen European defence because I believe that will be good for the European Union, for Europe and for NATO,” he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency