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President Biden expected to reassure Europe at NATO summit

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By Christopher Pitchers
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President Biden expected to reassure Europe at NATO summit
Copyright  KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP
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Brussels is welcoming U.S. President Joe Biden at the NATO Summit on Monday. He's expected to reassure the continent with a message that Europe is a key ally and NATO is still a vital element of Western security.

The U.S. Ambassador to the military alliance, Douglas Jones, told Euronews that the days of former U.S. President Trump calling NATO "obsolete" are over.

"In a world that we see often rising threats and also increasing autocratic regimes it's all the more important to commit and strengthen NATO as a place where democracy can come together and show that democracy can take action together, deliver for their people and protect each other," he said.

Washington's security focus is increasingly on China

There is a whole range of issues to be discussed, including Washington’s increasing security focus on China. But not every ally agrees with their approach.

The French Defense minister previously appeared skeptical on whether Europe should really share the same level of concern about China.

And Paris is also pushing for greater strategic autonomy when it comes to European defence.

"We don't agree on everything but we agree on a lot,” says Jones. “And on China it's important to recognise that was not even in NATO's agenda several years ago. But it is now and allies through consultation and talking together now have consensus that NATO now needs to talk about China, we need to confront challenges that are posed by China in the Transatlantic security space where China is ever more present."

Biden to meet Putin on Wednesday

If China is seen by the US administration as the new threat, then the old one still remains - Russia, which the Ambassador describes as a serious problem.

Russia does remain for NATO the most immediate threat and the U.S. has been clear that we won't hesitate to respond firmly to Russia's destabilizing actions
Douglas Jones
U.S. Ambassador to NATO

"Russia does remain for NATO the most immediate threat and the U.S. has been clear that we won't hesitate to respond firmly to Russia's destabilizing actions even as we seek stability and predictability in the relationship," he says.

On Wednesday, Biden will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin for the first time, following meetings at NATO where he will underline the US’s commitment to the military alliance.