Italy committed to NATO, says PM

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, April 27 (IANS/AKI) Italy remains committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday, calling it a "pillar" of ties between Europe, the US and other "great countries".

"NATO is a pillar of relationships between Europe, the United States and other great countries which share our values and objectives in this defence alliance," Gentiloni said.

Speaking to journalists in Rome after a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Gentiloni said it was Italy's "duty" to confirm spending commitments taken on at the alliance's 2014 summit in Wales.

"We have already reached the investment quota, but progress will be more gradual on the spending aspect because we have to take our economy into account," he said.

Stoltenberg called Italy "an ally of extreme value" and thanked it for its contribution "to the construction of capabilities" in the defence sector.

"Italy has increased its defence spending thanks to a joint promise made in 2014 to reach 2 percent of GDP," he said.