NATO summit to address cyber defence, disinformation with Indo-Pacific partners: US official

Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg highlights global partnerships as one of the priorities of next week's NATO summit in Washington

Jens Stoltenberg stressed that support to Ukraine will be NATO’s “most urgent task” (photo: @NATO/X)
Jens Stoltenberg stressed that support to Ukraine will be NATO’s “most urgent task” (photo: @NATO/X)


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its Indo-Pacific partners, including South Korea, plan to discuss resilience, support for Ukraine, disinformation, cybersecurity and emerging technologies during their summit in Washington next week, a senior US administration official said.

The NATO summit is set to take place in the US capital from Tuesday to Thursday (9-11 July). The leaders of the alliance's four Indo-Pacific partners (IP4) - South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have been invited to the summit that marks the 75th anniversary of NATO's founding, reported Yonhap news agency.

"We are bringing together some of our closest non-NATO partners to have a discussion around issues like resilience, cyber, disinformation, and technology," the official said in a virtual briefing.

He added, "This particular grouping of IP4 as we call them in NATO lingo -- Australia, Japan, New Zealand and ROK (Republic of Korea) ,These are some of our closest partners that we work with in the region".

The NATO summit involving Indo-Pacific partners is set to take place on Thursday, 11 July. The official did not elaborate on the issue of resilience. In a NATO context, resilience refers to the capacity to prepare for, resist, respond to and quickly recover from shocks and disruptions across the full spectrum of threats, according to an article on NATO's Allied Command Transformation website.

At the NATO gathering, there will be a "strong" demonstration of U.S. and allies' support for Ukraine, the official said, highlighting Washington's plan to announce new steps to strengthen Ukraine's air defences and military capabilities.

"Together, the Washington summit will send a strong signal to Putin that if he thinks he can outlast the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine, he's dead wrong," he said.

"We are also sending 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," he added.

The summit comes amid growing concerns about Biden's mental health and physical fitness, which was called into question again following a poor debate performance last week.

Observers said that Biden is likely to capitalise on the summit to highlight that he is up for the job and capable of leading the nation for another four year term.

"Foreign leaders have seen Joe Biden up close and personal for the last three years. They know who they are dealing with and they know how effective he's been," the official said.

"What the president has done over the last three years is to reinvigorate the NATO alliance, including expanding it, making it more capable.

He has stood up to President Putin's unprecedented aggression against Ukraine by mobilising a coalition of a minimum of 50 allies and partners to provide capabilities to Ukraine."

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