World Bulletin / News Desk
In a guest op-ed for British daily The Guardian, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “political storm clouds” are putting a strain on relations between the NATO members.
Stoltenberg appealed to leaders of the member countries to avoid a disastrous breakdown, saying: “Where differences persist, we must limit any negative impact on our security cooperation”.
“Since the alliance was created almost 70 years ago, the people of Europe and North America have enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. But, at the political level, the ties which bind us are under strain,” Stoltenberg wrote.
“There are real differences between the United States and other allies over issues such as trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear agreement.
“These disagreements are real and they won’t disappear overnight. In fact, nowhere is it written in stone that the transatlantic bond will always thrive. That doesn’t, however, mean that its breakdown is inevitable. We can maintain it, and all the mutual benefits we derive from it.”
Stoltenberg’s article came ahead of next month's NATO summit and his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.
The NATO chief’s remarks followed a verbal attack by U.S. President Donald Trump on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while defending his government’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border, saying the U.S. would not become a “migrant camp under my watch.”
On Twitter, Trump also claimed that “the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition”.
On Monday, Merkel was given a two-week deadline by her ultra-conservative coalition partner to adopt stricter migration and asylum rules in agreement with other EU member states.