LUSA 07/10/2024

Lusa - Business News - Portugal: NATO principles never more important than now - speaker

Lisbon, July 9, 2024 (Lusa) - The speaker of Portugal's parliament believes that never before has NATO's dual dimension of an area of defence and freedom been so important, and stressed Portugal's role in strengthening the Atlantic Alliance's southern flank. These positions were conveyed to the Lusa news agency by José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, who is attending the NATO Parliamentary Assembly summit in Washington, which brings together 32 delegations from member states, including 23 presidents of national parliaments.

"This summit is taking place on the 75th anniversary of NATO, a milestone that reveals the importance of the Atlantic Alliance in its security and defence dimension. Everyone realises that today democracy and freedom themselves are at stake, as is the world as we want it to be in a free society. Never before has this dual reality been present among all its member states," declared the speaker of parliament.

José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, the former Social Democrat Minister of Defence, is in Washington accompanied by the vice-speaker of parliament, the Socialist Marcos Perestrello.

In more operational terms, according to the speaker of the Portuguese parliament, this high-level meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is analysing the strengthening of the link between the eastern and southern flanks of the Atlantic Alliance.

"Although the immediate risks are on the eastern flank, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we realise that the threats are global. We have threats such as disinformation, often via social media, which aims to create instability in NATO, particularly in terms of enlargement objectives," he pointed out.

In this context, the speaker of parliament also defended the need to create a strong line of communication with third countries.

"At this summit, we will recognise that today's parliaments play a very important role, in that they represent different political families and form the positions of different countries. The greater the interparliamentary exchange of experiences, the greater the articulation, the greater the quality of the Atlantic Alliance will be strengthened," he added.