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Duckorth, Sullivan agree NATO expansion into Asia is inevitable

Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) both said in interviews on Sunday that they think NATO expansion into Asia is inevitable and touted the strength of the alliance. 

“I think it is, and I think it was a positive summit,” Sullivan told Chuck Todd, when he asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he thought NATO expansion was inevitable. Sullivan was part of the Senate delegation attending the NATO gathering in Vilnius, Lithuania last week.

“I think there was a lot of progress. It wasn’t just the mention of China several times – almost 20 times in my count – but Chuck, you probably saw the leaders who were there… the prime minister of Japan, prime minister of Australia, the president of Korea,” Sullivan added. “Our Senate delegation had the opportunity to meet with those leaders, and I think that was a really strong signal with regard to NATO.” 

Duckworth, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Services committees, said she agreed with Sullivan’s assessment when asked in a subsequent interview on “Meet the Press” whether she thinks NATO expansion is inevitable. 

“I think it is. I agree with my friend and frankly, it already has started to do that with our successful AUKUS agreement between the UK, Australia and the United States,” Duckworth said. “I travel extensively throughout the Indo-Pacific, and I will tell you, our Asian allies are looking very closely to what has happened with Ukraine and realize that there is a greater need to participate themselves in NATO as well as NATO ally allies coming back into the Indo-Pacific region.”

“I think what Vladimir Putin has done is not only has he expanded NATO, he’s actually strengthened the resolve of countries like Japan and Korea and Taiwan, and other nations,” Duckworth said, referring to the Russian president, noting Asian countries’ statements released in support of Ukraine. “So, he’s in fact united the world in a way against what he’s doing there.”

Source : The Hill