US President Joe Biden will take part in his debut NATO summit on Monday as the 30 countries look to put the strained years of Donald Trump’s administration behind them and instead turn their attention to external threats.
After the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, Biden arrived in Brussels on Sunday evening for the NATO meeting.
Leaders are expected to send a pointed message to an increasingly aggressive Russia – the defence alliance’s traditional adversary – and to address China’s ascendancy on the world stage, security issues linked to climate change, cyber defence and new military technology.
In addition, the allies should sign off a reform plan for 2030 and formally decide to start overhauling their core strategic concept, which was last updated in 2010.
The US leader is also planning a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Another important issue is NATO’s ongoing withdrawal from Afghanistan almost 20 years after the US invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
While the NATO allies are to keep up funding as well as security and civilian support, the exact nature of future cooperation with Afghan authorities is yet to be determined.
The drawdown, set to be completed later this year, is coinciding with increased bloodshed in Afghanistan, with the militant Islamist Taliban group regaining control over territory.