US President Joe Biden makes his entrance at a NATO summit aiming to consult European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia.
The summit on Monday comes as Biden tries to rally allies for greater coordination in checking China and Russia, two adversaries whose actions on economic and national security fronts have become the chief foreign policy concerns in the early going of the Biden presidency.
Biden will use his time at the summit to underscore the US commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.
The communique to be signed by NATO alliance members at the end of the summit will include language about updating Article 5.
The update will spell out that if an alliance member requires technical support against a cyber attack, it would be able to invoke the mutual defense provision to receive assistance, said White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan.
The President will begin his day meeting with leaders of the Baltic states regarding the “threat posed by Russia,” China and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to Sullivan. He’ll also meet with NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
Biden is focused on building a more cohesive bond between America and allies who had become wary of US leadership as the Trump administration was at odds with some leading NATO members, including Britain, Germany and France, over Trump’s 2018 decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement that was brokered during the Obama administration.
For now, NATO plans to leave civilian advisers to help build up government institutions. It’s unclear who will protect them. The alliance is also weighing whether to train Afghan special forces outside the country.
NATO members are also expected to endorse the creation of a new cyber defense policy to improve coordination with countries impacted by the increasing frequency of ransomware attacks, a climate security action plan to reduce greenhouse gases from military activities in line with national commitments under the Paris Agreement and a commitment to strengthen NATO’s deterrence to meet threats from Russia and elsewhere, according to the White House.
Biden will also meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday on the sidelines of the summit.
The two leaders were expected to discuss Syria and Iran as well as what role Turkey can play on Afghanistan following the US troop withdrawal, according to the White House.
Also on the agenda: how Washington and Ankara “deal with some of our significant differences on values and human rights and other issues,” Sullivan said.
The unsettled security situation in Libya, as well as overlapping concerns on China and Russia are also expected to be discussed.