Boris Johnson rejects Donald Trump's comments on Nato mutual defence

Posted On: 
22nd July 2016

Boris Johnson has restated the importance of Nato’s policy of mutual defence after Donald Trump suggested the US may not always come to the aid of its allies.

Boris Johnson is in Washington DC for a conference on tackling IS
Credit: 
PA Images

The Republican presidential nominee said yesterday he would weigh whether other Nato members “fulfil their obligations” to the US before deciding to protect them in the face of external aggression.

But Mr Johnson stressed the UK’s commitment to the policy of mutual defence – although he insisted he was not getting involved in the politics of the US election.

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“I think that Article Five in the Nato Treaty of 1948, the doctrine of mutual defence, is incredibly important,” the Foreign Secretary said.

"It's something that I've repeated several times already just in the last week to various other countries, and my counterparts in various other countries around Europe, in the Baltic countries and elsewhere.

"It's something that the British Government believes in absolutely, fervently, and that we stand behind full square.

"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.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary also said the UK will lead a drive to collect evidence for potential war crimes charges against members of so-called Islamic State.

Mr Johnson is in Washington for a conference on combating IS, where he spoke out about the risk of fighters diffusing across the world as the group faces losses of territory in Iraq and Syria.

“We've got to deal with the whole cancer and its ability to spread and to metastasize, to pop up all over the world in the way that we've been seeing,” he told television reporters afterwards.

"There are thousands of them and we need to start setting in train the process of gathering evidence, of getting more witnesses, so that ultimately they can be prosecuted and held to account for their crimes against humanity and that's something that I said today to everybody and got a large measure of support."