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Nato hailed as ‘pillar of stability in an uncertain world’ as it turns 70

Lieutenant General Tim Radford said the alliance prevented conflict and preserved peace.

The Nato 70 parade taking place in Gloucester (SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/ARRC Production/PA)
The Nato 70 parade taking place in Gloucester (SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/ARRC Production/PA)

As Nato celebrates its 70th birthday it remains “vital” to international security, according to a senior British officer.

Lieutenant General Tim Radford, who is the commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) based at Imjin Barracks in Gloucester, said Nato would remain the “pillar of stability in an uncertain world”.

He spoke as Nato foreign ministers met in Washington to celebrate the organisation’s anniversary.

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The Nato 70 parade taking place in Gloucester (SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/ARRC Production/PA)

Nato is facing challenges from Russia, China and Iran, while the US wants its allies to boost their defence spending.

Lt Gen Radford, who was speaking during a military parade at the barracks to mark the milestone, said: “While the last 70 years have seen unparallel change, Nato is as vital to global security today as it ever was.

“Nato is an alliance united by shared history, shared values and shared goals. Together we work to prevent conflict and to preserve peace.

“Our world is changing and Nato is changing too.

“Nato has kept our nations and our peoples safe by being agile and by adapting to new security challenges.

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The 23 nations serving at the UK-led headquarters paraded under their own flags (SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/ARRC Production/PA)

“And throughout this transformation, our unity and our resolve to defend our values remains unchanged.

“It’s because of this, Nato will remain a pillar of stability in an uncertain world.”

All 23 nations serving at the UK-led headquarters braved the torrential rain to parade under their own flags.

Major General Maurizio Boni, deputy commander of ARRC, said: “We are facing uncertainty and so we need strength to face the uncertainty, and that strength is Nato.

“We are facing 360 degree threats and that’s why we need that strength against that uncertain future because we cannot predict what threats pose the biggest threat.”

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Nato is facing challenges from Russia, China and Iran (SSgt Mark Nesbit RLC/ARRC Production/PA)

He described the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit as “no issue at all”.

“We are concerned with making Nato relevant in the 21st century,” he added.

Major General Jez Bennett, chief of staff at ARRC, said Brexit had “no impact” on Nato at all.

He added: “It may benefit the UK because Nato is an important means of British influence with the EU states and could become even more important as a result.”

PA

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