Air Force One Touches Down For “Decisive” Madrid Summit
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, landed today on Air Force One as one of the first western leaders to arrive in Madrid ahead of the NATO summit, starting tomorow 29th June.
He arrived this afternoon at Torrejon airbase, situated 40 km from the capital.
Earlier, the United States announced that it will be sending two more destroyers to the naval base in Rota, in the province of Cadiz, bringing the number of ships which form part of the AEGIS anti-missile shield there to six.
The president was greeted at the air base by King Felipe, who then introduced Spain’s foreign minister José Manuel Albares, Margarita Robles, the Minister of Defence, Jaime Alfonsín, the head of the royal household, and the US ambassador to Spain, Julissa Reynoso.
Some 41 western leaders are expected for the Summit, which has been billed as the most important in generations as the alliance responds to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a summit, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said that the alliance will enhance its battlegroups in eastern Europe and the Baltics to brigade levels.
The Allied leaders will also approve plans to increase the number of high-readiness forces from its present 40,000 troops to more than 300,000.
The Summit is expected to approve a new Strategic Concept, and make clear that the Allies consider Russia as a direct threat to NATO”s security, while also addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses toward the western world.
The Summit will also decide on a more comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join the Summit by video link.
Today, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg met with Presidents of Turkey, Sweden and Finland to resolve issues over the latter two´s application to join the alliance.
The capital is seeing a massive security operation which will see widespread mobility restrictions with an estimated 10,000 police, civil guard and military personnel deployed.
The tightest security is in place around the IFEMA conference centre, where the main summit will take place.
Access to Barajas Airport has some restrictions in place on the A2 and M11 motorways at times for arriving and leaving dignitaries.
The Prado Museum, which will host a gala dinner on Wednesday evening, will be closed to the public for two days while the Plaza Mayor, will also be closed to tourists.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPANISH NEWS