Japanese PM to attend NATO summit for the first time

Japanese PM to attend NATO summit for the first time

The military bloc seeks to strengthen its ties with partners in the Asia-Pacific region, its secretary general said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that he plans to attend the next NATO summit in Madrid later this month. Kishida criticized the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, accusing Moscow of violating the “world order” with your actions.

“I intend to call out that changing the status quo unilaterally by force is unacceptable anywhere in the world and that security in Europe is inseparable from security in the Indo-Pacific.” Kishida said during a press conference. “Russia’s invasion violates world peace and order and can never be tolerated.”

While Kishida will become the first Japanese prime minister to attend a NATO summit, he will not be the only leader from the Asia-Pacific region to join the event, alliance secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg revealed while she spoke. ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

“For the first time in our history we will invite our Asia-Pacific partners, the Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Australia, Japan and also the President of South Korea to participate in the NATO Summit, which is a strong demonstration of our close association. with these like-minded countries in Asia-Pacific,” Stoltenberg said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will also be invited, the official revealed, but it is unclear if he will be able to attend the event in person.

“President Zelensky will be invited to the NATO Summit in Madrid. He will be invited to address all the leaders, so when we meet there at the end of the month. He is, of course, welcome to come in person, if that is possible for him. He will also address by videoconference ”, Stoltenberg stated, adding that the NATO bloc and its partners “have provided unprecedented levels of support” to kyiv in recent months.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

Since then, the Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.

Melissa Galbraith
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