Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Trump declares support for NATO but calls on members to increase spending

Washington DC, Feb 28 (EFE).- The United States president on Tuesday said his administration “strongly supports” NATO, but reiterated his appeal to “partners to meet their financial obligations” during his first presidential address to Congress.

“We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific, to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost”, Donald Trump said.

After conducting “very strong and frank discussions” with NATO member states since taking office, Trump claimed allies were “beginning” to share the financial burden.

During his election campaign in 2016, Trump had criticized European NATO members for not providing sufficient economic assistance to the defense alliance, suggesting that the United States could reduce its support to the transatlantic block, whilst at the same time expressing his backing for improved ties with Russia.

However, since taking office, Trump has reassured European leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, of NATO’s fundamental importance and his nation’s participation in it.