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NATO leader shuts down idea of naming headquarters after McCain

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, gestures while speaking to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral breakfast, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PHOENIX — The leader of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shot down an idea proposed by lawmakers to name the new headquarters after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday, according to The Hill, that he does not believe naming the building after the late senator would be the best way to honor him.

“NATO doesn’t have a tradition of naming buildings after politicians. We are 29 [member countries] with a lot of presidents, kings, heads of state and governments, so we haven’t introduced that tradition,” Stoltenberg said at a Heritage Foundation event in Washington, D.C.

“I’m certain that we will be able to honor John McCain, but not necessarily through naming a building,” he added.

“We honor John McCain every day through the fact that we stand together in NATO and deliver a strong transatlantic deterrence and defense.”

A bipartisan group of legislators, including U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and U.S. Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), introduced a resolution supporting a proposal to rename the new $1.45 billion headquarters after McCain earlier this month.

The building, which is in Brussels, Belgium, will house nearly 4,000 military and civilian personnel from the alliance.

McCain died at 81 on Aug. 25 after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. He was laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

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