by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of NATO Foreign Ministers
So dear friends, I think we are ready to start, we have a tight schedule so therefore we should start on schedule. Welcome to all of you, it’s great to see you all here and good morning and welcome.
Today we set the stage for the meeting of Alliance leaders here in Brussels in May. NATO stands strong, as our nations face a wide range of challenges: a more assertive Russia, turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and terrorism on our streets. We have already made key steps to reinforce our deterrence and defence and to project stability beyond our borders. We have also started to increase defence spending across the Alliance after many years of cuts. So, today, we will focus on the two key issues that NATO leaders need to address: a strengthened Transatlantic bond to fair burden-sharing, and fighting terrorism, as part of our broader efforts to keep our people safe.
And that concludes the public part of our meeting so I think we will thank the media for being here at the opening session and then we are ready to continue and then we also have some more ministers coming in so we can continue the meeting. Welcome to all of you.