Gannon professor joins Kelly at NATO leader's Congressional address
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, addressed Congress Wednesday in a rare joint meeting of the House and Senate.
Jens Stoltenberg delivered his address shortly after 11 Wednesday morning following an invitation from both house speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The speech comes the day before NATO commemorates its 70thanniversary.
Like the State of the Union Address, lawmakers were also allowed to be bring a guest from their districts to the joint meeting.
Gannon University professor, Anjali Sahay, attended alongside U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly. Sahay is the director of Gannon’s Model UN program. The program, which is oldest chapter of its kind in the country, is now into its 66thyear.
For Sahay, it’s a great way to see history unfold in-person, and something she can share with her students in Erie.
“I’m living my dream because I’m a student of international studies and I teach classes on international relations and comparative government,” Sahay said. “So, this is really important for me to be here today.”
Stoltenberg’s address to Congress is the first by a top NATO official since the transatlantic defense treaty was signed in 1949. Kelly hoped the address will help Americans understand the nation’s role in global defense partnerships and other similar roles.
“There are questions, I know, like why are we involved? We’ve got the U.N., we’ve got NATO, we’ve got all these different alliances and the United States is a big part of these things,” Kelly said. “We need to look at ourselves more as a global partner than as isolated, thinking that sometimes we’re pretty safe.”
Stoltenberg met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. Trump, who had criticized other NATO members for not paying their fair share financially and previously called NATO “obsolete,” said the relationship with the Secretary General is “outstanding.”