North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meeting in Brussels have called for an increase in their national armed forces budgets of at least three per cent.
SVs INTERIOR North Atlantic Treaty Organisation delegates and armed forces personnel arriving for NATO defence ministers meeting, Brussels, Belgium (4 shots)
SCU Delegates standing talking
SV NATO Supreme Allied Military Commander in Europe, U.S. General Alexander Haig (with cigarette), talking to others
SV PAN & SVs Delegations from Luxembourg, Norway, Holland, Portugal, Turkey, UK, Canada, Denmark, and U.S.A. (7 shots)
SV Chairman, NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns, and GV conference hall (2 shots)
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Background: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meeting in Brussels have called for an increase in their national armed forces budgets of at least three per cent. The call is in response to an earlier one by President Jimmy Carter of the United States, appealing for greater defence spending by the 15-nation military alliance.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting in the Belgian capital, where NATO has its headquarters, was ??? attended by all the alliance's members except France and Iceland. Its primary aim was to improve NATO's defence in the face of the growing military strength of the Warsaw Pact -- the European communist bloc military alliance led by the Soviet Union.
NATO sources said the defence ministers and their military advisors accepted President Carter's call for major improvements in the alliance's military strength, as put forward at the meeting by United States Defence Secretary Harold Brown. The sources said the decisions reflected NATO's concern over the steady build-up of Soviet armed forces over the past several years. The long-term programme agreed by the defence ministers include stepping up the combat readiness of NATO's front-line troops; strengthening its electronic warfare capabilities; and improving its sea power and air defence. Outside the formal programme, the ministers also agreed with a general call by Mr. Brown for an increase in anti-tank weaponry in West Germany, and a build-up of war supplies in Europe generally as a high priority.