MUNICH, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said during her opening speech at the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) here on Friday that the world needed a globally committed and responsible United States.
"If a U.S. secretary of defense and a German minister of defense open this conference together, then this is a nice and strong sign of friendship between two countries," Von der Leyen said, calling at the same time for a fairer and more balanced transatlantic security partnership.
She also pointed out that the crises and conflicts suggested that those who wanted security needed their own powers and capabilities, as well as reliable alliances.
"A stable EU is as much in the interest of the United States as a united NATO," Von der Leyen stressed.
"After a period of enjoying the benefits of peace dividend, it is now time to consistently invest in security reserves," Von der Leyen said, adding that NATO could not be taken for granted, either by the United States or by Europe.
Mentioning Russia, the German defense minister said that a reliable coexistence with Russia must be found. She also drew attention especially to the need for all parties to fight transnational terrorism, and more specifically, the Islamic State.
Among this year's confirmed participants at the security conference are the new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Council President Donald Tusk, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Since its foundation in 1963, the annual MSC, once dubbed a "transatlantic family gathering," has become a forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue.