NATO’s Asia-Pacific Four were formerly NATO’s Contact Countries until they were absorbed into Partners Across the Globe along with Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Mongolia and Pakistan. Several more nations in Latin America and Africa are being groomed for that program as well.

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Hankyoreh
April 28, 2022

Blinken alludes to S. Korea, Japan’s attendance at June NATO summit

Speaking before a US Senate committee, the US secretary of state hinted that the “Asia-Pacific Four” countries may be in attendance in Madrid

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that countries of the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea may be invited to the NATO summit scheduled to take place in Spain in late June.

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing…Blinken was fielding a question from Republican Sen. William Hagerty, who previously served as the US ambassador to Japan, when he said, “At the NATO summit that [US] President [Joe Biden] will attend, the AP Four and Japan will be there.” He also said, “One of the things we have been advancing is increasing NATO focus on working with partners that are not part of NATO, including what we call the Asia-Pacific Four.”

The AP Four refers to four NATO partners in the Asia-Pacific: South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Previously, foreign ministers of non-NATO countries including the AP Four attended a foreign minister’s meeting of NATO held in Brussels on April 7 to discuss sanctions against Russia and supporting Ukraine.

At the time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said that NATO members “agreed to step up cooperation with our partners in the Asia-Pacific, because the crisis [of the war in Ukraine] has global ramifications.”

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Having released in February its “Indo-Pacific Strategy,” which centered on keeping China in check, the Biden administration vouched to prepare a separate strategy against China, but the process has been delayed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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