Britain to back NATO reforms at Lisbon Summit

15:21, November 20, 2010      

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British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday joined other heads of state and government for a NATO summit in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, with the aims of detailing a future strategy in Afghanistan and reforming the organization.

A spokesman for Cameron said that the prime minister's priorities for the summit would be NATO reforms, including driving efficiencies through that organization, taking some decisions on missile defense and securing a strong message of solidarity from allies on Afghanistan.

For Britain, NATO is important because it is one of the pillars of British foreign policy and military policy, and provides the country with a framework through which it can express its military and diplomatic ambitions on a global scale while remaining close to the United States and allies in continental Europe.

The relationship between Britain and NATO has been redrawn somewhat by the new coalition government, which has undertaken a swift wave of austerity cuts since it came to power in mid-May.

Although military spending forms only a small part of the government's budget, cuts of 7.8 percent in the Ministry of Defense's (MOD) budget over the coming four years drew critical headlines from the media and hostile reaction from some experts when the Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), the first for 12 years, was announced a month ago.

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