Watford (England), – NATO leaders are due on Wednesday to discuss diverse threats facing the military alliance, on day two of a 70th anniversary summit overshadowed by divisions about strategy and burden sharing.
The leaders will meet at a luxury golf resort in Watford, 25 kilometres north-west of London, for three hours of formal talks.
The summit began on Tuesday with a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Earlier, several leaders held bilateral meetings.
The 29 allies are to formalise around 50 decisions adapting NATO to a changing global security environment.
This includes recognising space as a fifth operational domain alongside land, air, sea and cyber.
They will issue a joint declaration reiterating allies’ commitment to collective defence, nuclear deterrence, increased defence spending and NATO’s open door policy which should see North Macedonia soon join as its 30th member.
For the first time, leaders will address the “opportunities and challenges” posed by China’s growing influence, while also pledging to ensure “the security of our communications, including 5G.”
The alliance has been shaken by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent criticism about the “brain death” of NATO, in the wake of U.S. and Turkish military action in north-eastern Syria that threatened advances made against the Islamic State extremist group.
The issue dominated Tuesday’s talks, as U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at Macron’s “very, very nasty” and “insulting” remark.
The French president refused to back down, however, arguing that NATO should prioritise these strategic issues over disputes about burden-sharing.
In their summit declaration, the leaders are to pave the way for a “forward-looking reflection process” to strengthen NATO’s political dimension.