U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) will not have an adverse impact on North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) military and political prowess.
“We anticipate an even stronger NATO going forward,” Kerry told reporters after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Twenty eight member nations of NATO will attend a summit in Warsaw, Poland, on July 8 and 9. “We have high expectations of a very strong NATO meeting with important deliverables that will not change one iota as a consequence of the [Brexit] vote that has taken place,” Kerry said.
Britain stunned the world last Thursday when it voted to leave the EU, sparking sharp selloffs throughout the global financial markets.
The vote, said Stoltenberg, has made NATO an even more significant player in international political and military affairs. “I think that NATO has become even more important [not only] as a captain for cooperation between Europe and North America, but also defense and security cooperation between European NATO allies.”
Kerry is in the midst of a tour of Brussels and London that is designed to reassure U.S. allies concerned about the British vote, noting that 22 EU countries, including Britain, are NATO members.
(Photo of Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and US secretary of state John Kerry: Nato.int)