British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says U.S. politics aside, NATO has kept Europe safe for decades and ''will do for decades to come.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reaffirmed on Thursday (July 21) the British government's position on NATO, and it's role in global security. Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting on the Islamic State in Washington D.C., Johnson's comments came in response to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying that he might abandon NATO's pledge to automatically defend all alliance members. "I think that Article 5 of the NATO treaty of 1948, the doctrine of mutual defence is incredibly important, it's something that I have repeated several times already just in the last week to various other countries around Europe, to my counterparts in countries around Europe, in the Baltic countries and elsewhere. It's something that the British government believes in absolutely, fervently and something that we stand behind foursquare," said Johnson. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which created NATO in 1949 and calls an attack on one member an attack on all, has been invoked just once - to help defend the United States after the 9/11 attacks. Following the attacks, NATO sent AWACS planes to patrol over U.S. skies, with more than 800 crew members from 13 NATO countries flying over 360 sorties. As part of the eight measures approved to support the United States, NATO, about three weeks later, sent elements of its Standing Naval Forces to patrol the Eastern Mediterranean and monitor shipping, expanding that to include the entire Mediterranean several months later. "I think the crucial thing is to focus on global security and I do believe that that is best advanced through NATO... Fundamentally, it is the NATO treaty, that doctrine of mutual defence, that has guaranteed the peace in Europe for decades and will do I think, for decades to come," added Johnson. In the New York Times interview, Trump, in response to a question about potential Russian aggression toward the Baltic states, said that if Moscow attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations "have fulfilled their obligations to us." He added, "If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes." Asked about Trump's comments, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the EU knows it needs to "work more on our defense capabilities," but said America needs to keep solidarity with its allies. ======================= Britain's Johnson firm on NATO after Trump speech British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says U.S. politics aside, NATO has kept Europe safe for decades and "will do for decades to come." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).