As the Heads of State have started gathering in London for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to call for NATO unity amid heightened tension among alliance members. French President Emmanuel Macron’s stance on Turkey after the Syrian offensive and US President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO members for not contributing enough to defence expenditure has been a worry for the bloc.
On November 30, France summoned the Turkish envoy in Paris after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused his French counterpart of suffering from ‘brain death’. It was an apparent reply to Macron as the French President had criticised NATO using the same ‘brain death’ expression, for lack of strategic cooperation among members. Macron stood by his comments after talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on November 28.
Trump reached London on Monday, December 2, to attend the summit and swiftly took the credit for an increase in NATO spending levels. According to NATO, there has been a rise in defence investment for the fifth consecutive year and allies except the United States have committed to spend $130 billion extra by the end of 2020.
In the 3 decades before my election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds, and only 3 other NATO members were meeting their financial obligations. Since I took office, the number of NATO allies fulfilling their obligations more than DOUBLED, and NATO spending increased by $130B!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Queen Elizabeth II will host a reception for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace on the first day of the summit and NATO Secretary-General will discuss the main themes of the leaders’ meeting at a major public diplomacy event in London, NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance. On December 4, leaders will meet to address current security issues and take decisions to ensure that "NATO remains fit for the future".