The UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi arrived in Brussels, heading a military delegation to attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit, which started Wednesday.
29 Heads of state and government participated in the two-day summit.
The UAE delegation included senior officers and officials of the Ministry of Defense and the General Command of the Armed Forces, according to Emirates news agency WAM.
During the NATO summit, member states have agreed to further strengthen the alliance’s defense and deterrence, step up its role in the fight against terrorism and share the burden of security more fairly.
“The decisions we have made today show that Europe and North America are working together,” said General Jens Stoltenberg (photo), NATO Secretary General.
“NATO is delivering and we are determined to keep our almost one billion citizens safe and secure,” he added.
The 29 state leaders took a series of measures to continue NATO’s adaptation to a more demanding security environment, including a new readiness initiative which will see a series of 30s - 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels ready for use within 30 days.
The member states also enhanced NATO’s command structure with new commands for the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, and for support and logistics in Ulm, Germany.
A new Cyber Operations Centre will also be created at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.
The NATO leaders decided to launch a new NATO training mission in Iraq, with several hundred trainers, and to increase support for Jordan and Tunisia. These initiatives will help them counter terrorism and maintain stability.
The Secretary General announced that NATO’s Hub for the South is now fully operational. The facility in Naples, Italy, will help the alliance monitor and respond more effectively to challenges in the Southern region.
The Secretary General reiterated the importance of fairer burden-sharing in the alliance and he confirmed that all member states are increasing defense spending. This year, eight nations have committed to devote at least 2 per cent of their GDP on defense and a majority of have plans to do so by 2024.
Stoltenberg also said that, based on the national plans of European Allies and Canada, it is expected that an extra $266 billion would be spent on defense between now and 2024.
“So we have turned the tide but we need to do more. This is about fairness, this is about our credibility and, above all, this is about our security in a more unpredictable world,” he said.