NATO summit hosted by Biden to show strong support for Ukraine

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Washington, Jul 8 (PTI) The NATO summit, being hosted by US President Joe Biden here this week, is likely to show a strong demonstration of America and its allies' support for Ukraine and make significant new announcements to increase military, political and financial support for the European country, in addition to holding a meeting with the EU and Indo-Pacific partners to deepen their cooperation, according to administration officials.

The NATO summit will be the first to include Sweden as a member of the alliance. Sweden officially joined the alliance in March.

The historic summit would also mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which is now a strong military alliance of 32 countries.

"It has been truly indispensable to Euro-Atlantic security, deterring threats to the United States and our allies," a senior administration official told reporters ahead of the summit.

Being held in the American capital, within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi having a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the NATO summit, officials said "will send a strong signal to Putin that if he thinks he can outlast the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine, he is dead wrong".

"We are also going to send an important message to the rest of the world, including through our partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, as we stand together united and in support of democratic values," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Washington summit will kick off on Tuesday, with Biden welcoming NATO leaders, and along with the First Lady, hosting a 75th anniversary commemoration event at the Mellon Auditorium, which is the site of the original signing of the North Atlantic Treaty that established the NATO on April 4, 1949. It is also the site of the 1999 50th anniversary commemorative event hosted by the then president Bill Clinton.

On July 10, the president will welcome Sweden as the newest member of the alliance at a meeting of the NATO's 32 allies. Later in the evening, they would host the NATO leaders for a dinner at the White House. On July 11, the NATO will hold a meeting with the European Union (EU) and the NATO's Indo-Pacific partners -- Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand -- to deepen their cooperation.

Officials also said there will be a strong language on China.

"We are bringing together some of our closest non-NATO partners to have a discussion around issues like resilience and cyber disinformation, technology and the like. In terms of deterrence and defence, of course, the NATO is focused on the Euro-Atlantic area, and that is where its capabilities are being deployed," an official said.

"But the United States has a range of partnerships with countries around the world, which you might call variable geometry, with different partners including in the Indo-Pacific. This particular grouping of the IP4, as we call them in NATO lingo -- Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea -- these are some of our closest partners that we work with in the region," the official added. PTI LKJ RC

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