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NATO turns 75

Stoltenberg: "The strongest, longest-lasting and most successful alliance in history"

The 75th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance was celebrated today in Brussels. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded on 4 April 1949 with the signing of the Atlantic Pact in Washington, which was initially joined by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Born as an anti-Soviet military alliance, today it deals with the fight against terrorism, nuclear weapons and the promotion of democracy.

"In the years following the Second World War there was fear of yet another devastating war. So, on this day in 1949, the foreign ministers of all the countries of Europe and North America gathered to sign the Washington Treaty to create our alliance", recalled the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, during the ceremony.

"It kept our people safe -he continued- during the long years of the Cold War. From the Berlin Airlift to the Cuban Missile Crisis to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1979 I served in the Norwegian army. If there was war we wouldn't be on the front lines. But I wasn't afraid, because I knew we weren't alone. When the Cold War ended, NATO helped bring to light two brutal ethnic conflicts in the Balkans. In 2001, after the September 11 attacks "For the first time, we invoked Article Five of the Washington Treaty which states that an attack on one ally is an attack on all".

"Since then, NATO -concluded Stoltenberg- has been at the forefront of the fight against ISIS. 2014 and the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia represented another turning point. Since then, we have undertaken the most great strengthening of collective defense for generations. Today NATO is stronger and more united than ever. We had 12 members, today we are 32" allies.

On the same topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency