NATO leaders gather for 75th anniversary summit

United States President Joe Biden will host leaders of NATO in Washington, DC, this week as the military alliance marks 75 years since its formation amid security threats arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia Pacific.

The summit, which will run from Tuesday to Thursday, is largely expected to focus on reassuring Ukraine of the alliance’s unwavering support after Russia pummeled Ukrainian cities with missiles on Monday, hitting a children’s hospital in Kyiv. At least 31 people were killed in the Russian attacks.

It will be the first international appearance for new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, whose Labour Party won last week’s general election in a landslide. President Emmanuel Macron of France, who faces a political dilemma after a leftist bloc emerged as the largest player in the National Assembly after Sunday’s elections, will also be present.

NATO was formed during the Cold War in 1949 to counter threats posed by the Soviet Union. Article 5 of its founding treaty commits members to a collective military defence, under which an attack on one member is considered an attack on all, and effectively keeps its enemies at bay. The alliance has since grown from 12 members to 32 with its newest member, Sweden, joining in March.

Biden will host outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of other NATO countries, who will include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and, for the first time, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

Leaders from NATO partner countries will also be present. Partner nations are restricted from joining the alliance because of Article 10 of its treaty, which limits new members to Europe.

Leaders of partner countries expected at the summit include leaders of:Ukraine, Japan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and European Union leaders, including Charles Michel, head of the European Council, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Foreign and defence ministers as well as other senior officials from NATO countries and their partners will also be present.



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