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Foreign Secretary’s Visit: Strengthening NATO’s ‘Eastern Flank’ with British Armed Forces

  1. Steadfast Security Partnership: The UK reaffirms its commitment to NATO and the defense of its ‘Eastern Flank’ during Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s visit to Estonia and Oslo. The visit aims to highlight the UK’s role as a reliable security partner, dedicated to deterring aggression and defending all NATO Allies during times of crisis and conflict.
  2. Demonstrating Partnership: As a demonstration of the UK’s partnership, Cleverly visits the Royal Navy’s amphibious flagship, HMS Albion, currently participating in military exercises in the Baltic Sea. He engages with British military personnel representing all three British Armed Forces, including the 850 UK troops stationed in Estonia as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence.
  3. Cooperation on European Security: The Foreign Secretary emphasizes the UK’s strong desire for continued close cooperation on issues of importance to European security. This includes sustained support for Ukraine, where Cleverly visits a school for children of Ukrainian refugees, underscoring Estonia’s efforts in providing a safe haven. Additionally, tackling illegal migration and promoting economic ties between the UK and Estonia are prioritized.
  4. NATO’s Collective Strength: Cleverly attends an informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Oslo, where he seeks to shore up political and military support for Ukraine. He also advocates for Sweden’s swift accession to NATO, highlighting the significant boost to the alliance’s collective strength that it would bring. This push aligns with the upcoming Vilnius Summit in July.

In Estonia, the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, commences his two-leg visit to Northern Europe, emphasizing the UK’s commitment to NATO and the defense of its ‘Eastern Flank.’ Cleverly’s engagement with the new Estonian Government and visit to the HMS Albion highlight the UK’s steadfast security partnership.

The demonstration of the partnership continues as Cleverly interacts with British military personnel from all three British Armed Forces, including those stationed in Estonia as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. The visit showcases the UK’s active involvement in protecting Europe’s security and deterring Russian aggression.

The UK’s commitment to European security extends beyond military efforts. Cleverly emphasizes the importance of sustained support for Ukraine, visiting a school in Estonia catering to children of Ukrainian refugees. Estonia’s role in offering a safe haven to over 46,000 Ukrainians fleeing conflict demonstrates the country’s commitment to providing refuge from Russian bombardment. Furthermore, Cleverly discusses cooperation in tackling illegal migration and promoting economic ties between the UK and Estonia, particularly in areas such as digital health and sustainable energy.

Cleverly’s visit to Oslo for the informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers aims to consolidate political and military support for Ukraine. Additionally, he advocates for Sweden’s swift accession to NATO, emphasizing that its full membership would significantly enhance the collective strength of the alliance. This push aligns with the upcoming Vilnius Summit, where the accession of Sweden is expected to be a key topic of discussion.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s trip to Estonia and Oslo serves as a testament to the UK’s commitment to NATO and the defense of its ‘Eastern Flank.’ Through military engagements, diplomatic efforts, and support for Ukraine, the UK reinforces its role as a reliable security partner and contributes to the collective strength and stability of the alliance.

Source: Gov[Dot]UK

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