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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit

NATO has announced that Spain will host its next summit in 2022

Brussels (Belgium), Monday 14 June 2021

During this meeting in Brussels, the heads of state and government agreed that Spain will host the NATO Summit in 2022 - 25 years after this organisation first met in our country. The announcement was made at a joint press conference by President Sánchez and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The President of the Government pointed out that, at the 1997 Summit in Spain, the allies "were capable of demonstrating cohesion but, above all, a vision of the future to face the new strategic scenario that was opening up after the fall of the Berlin Wall". "I would like to take this spirit of Madrid to the next Summit so that we are able to come up with a new Strategic Concept to guide us in the years to come," Sánchez stressed.

Next year's NATO Summit in Madrid will also coincide with the 40th anniversary of Spain's accession to the Atlantic Alliance. Spain's commitment to NATO is evident in the fact that our country participates in most of the organisation's missions, and does so with 902 troops. Our Armed Forces - with 144,457 personnel (124,457 military and 20,000 civilians) - is the seventh largest in the Alliance.

'NATO 2030'

The 'NATO 2030' document - supported by Spain since the outset - includes nine priorities: increasing political consultation and coordination among allies; strengthening deterrence and defence; improving resilience; preserving the technological edge; improving cooperation with partners in training and capacity building; combating climate change; renewing the strategic concept; and allocating resources to carry out these issues.

Sánchez emphasised the importance of the document: "We need more multilateralism. A more political, militarily stronger and more comprehensive Alliance is better able to meet the new challenges facing our societies, such as the fight against COVID-19.

Another outcome from the Summit was a Joint Declaration stressing NATO's defensive role as an essential forum for security consultations and decisions among the Allies, and pledging to "continue striving for peace, security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area".

During the meeting, the heads of state and government discussed relations with Russia and China and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, although NATO maintains a civilian presence in the country. The 24 troops that Spain had deployed there returned in May.

Meetings and gatherings

On the fringes of the Summit, President Sánchez exchanged views and met with other leaders, such as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Fotos: Pool Moncloa, Pool OTAN y Pool EFE

During the meeting between Sánchez and Johnson, both corroborated the "privileged historical relationship" between Spain and the United Kingdom, and the intense relations that the countries maintain in all areas. The leaders discussed the need to further strengthen these relations, deepening them in areas such as security and defence, and to push forward the agreement between Spain and the UK on Gibraltar. Sánchez and Johnson also discussed the fight against the pandemic and progress on vaccinations.

Spain and the UK have a very intense economic and trading relationship, which has not changed after Brexit, and which is particularly deep in key sectors such as financial services, technology and aviation. In the commercial sphere, with Spanish companies well established in the British market, the relationship is equally positive.

Fotos: Pool Moncloa, Pool OTAN y Pool EFE

Sánchez and Trudeau discussed the excellent bilateral relations and issues of shared interest such as multilateralism and universal access to vaccines. In 2020, Canada supported "Together for a Strengthened Multilateralism", a Spanish-led initiative to address major global challenges through multilateralism and build a more peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable world.

Spain and Canada share concerns about the migration situation and forced displacement in Central America and Mexico. A few days ago, our country organised a solidarity event, in which Canada took part, which raised more than 90 million euros - of which Spain pledged 6.3 million euros for 2021-2022. Spain chairs the MIRPS Support Platform until June 2021, at which point Canada will take over.

Fotos: Pool Moncloa, Pool OTAN y Pool EFE

The president also held a brief conversation with the President of the United States. Sánchez and Biden, who had not met each other personally before, wanted to greet each other and establish a first contact. The presidents spoke of Spain's interest in strengthening military ties between the two countries, which are part of the 1988 Bilateral Defence Pact.

Presidents Sánchez and Biden discussed the situation in Latin America as a result of the pandemic, and their concern about the migration situation and forced displacement in Central America and Mexico.

The President of the Government congratulated the American president for his "progressive agenda", especially in the fight against climate change and on social policy issues, matters on which Sánchez stressed that both "progressive governments" share an affinity. The leaders have agreed to continue to collaborate and work together.

Fotos: Pool Moncloa, Pool OTAN y Pool EFE

Sánchez also had a meeting with Erdogan in which both expressed the hope that the Spain-Turkey summit, which could take place this year, would be accompanied by a business forum, and that trade exchanges, which have declined during the pandemic, would recover "as soon as possible".

Erdogan has reiterated his gratitude to the government of Spain for maintaining the Patriot missiles on Turkish soil, a mission to which he attaches a high strategic value. The two presidents discussed relations between Turkey and the EU, and Erdogan thanked Spain for its constructive stance. They also reviewed the situation in the region, especially in Syria and Afghanistan, and the impact on the flow of refugees. Sanchez acknowledged Turkey's hard work on this issue.

Both countries are also two of the founders of the COVAX Facilitation Council, to which Spain will donate 22.5 million vaccines and 50 million euros through GAVI. Sánchez shared the Spanish 'Vaccines for all' initiative with Trudeau, which proposes a series of measures to accelerate the distribution of vaccines and fight the current pandemic "leaving no one behind".

Non official translation