NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised Greece for the fact that along with the United States, the United Kingdom and recently Estonia, are the only “allies that invest at least 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product in defense,” the Greek version of the Voice of America reported.
Rasmussen, who addressed the “Atlantic Council” think tank in Washington on “A Strong Transatlantic Bond for an Unpredictable World,” said people at both sides of the Atlantic share common values such as “individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
He noted that “today, those values and our way of life are once more under threat” and added “An arc of instability from the Middle East to North Africa and the Sahel. Rising tensions and territorial disputes in Asia. And a revisionist Russia breaking international rules and undermining trust”.
“I believe there are three things we must do. Reinforce our economic ties. Deepen our personal and cultural links. And strengthen our security,” NATO Secretary General said.
“The trade deals currently being negotiated between North America and Europe are the next step. And the right step. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will eliminate tariffs, cut red tape and open up new markets. It is potentially the biggest trade and investment deal in history,” he noted.
On the enrichment of cultural and personal ties between the US and European countries, NATO Secretary General pointed out the need “to increase our transatlantic student scholarships and exchange programmes; To increase our scientific and cultural cooperation.”
“Security is necessary for us to live free from fear,” Rasmussen said. “Some European nations can – and should – do more,” he added and then referred to Greece, which despite the severe economic crisis invests at least 2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product in defense.