Spain is urging its NATO allies to consider a greater role for the alliance in North Africa and the Sahel at the Madrid summit, AP reports.
NATO has little interest in this, diplomats say, but as the alliance undertakes its biggest buildup in the east since the Cold War, allies such as Spain and Italy fear threats on the southern border could be ignored.
30 NATO leaders held their final summit on the south on Thursday morning after nearly two days of talks dominated by the war in Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the focus would be on addressing problems, including the causes of instability, and strengthening the fight against terrorism.
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said he would not rule out NATO intervention in Mali if necessary, after a summit statement listed terrorism as a hybrid threat that hostile powers could use to undermine its stability.