Thursday, September 23, 2021

Trump: US committed to NATO principle of mutual defense

Washington, Jun 9 (EFE).- US President Donald Trump said Friday that his administration is committed to the NATO treaty provision requiring an attack on one member-state to be treated as an attack on all, a matter he declined to directly address when he met last month with the other leaders of the Atlantic Alliance.

“Well, I’m committing the United States, and have committed, but I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” Trump said in response to a question at a White House press conference with visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

“Yes, absolutely I’d be committed to Article 5,” the US president said.

Trump, who has described NATO as “obsolete” and questioned the idea of coming to the defense of member-states he sees as not paying their “fair share,” had been expected to explicitly reaffirm Washington’s commitment to Article 5 in his speech at the NATO summit in Brussels.

But the US leader omitted mention of Article 5 when he addressed the gathering.

“Certainly we are there to protect and that’s one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force, by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force,” Trump said Friday.

With a nod to his guest, Trump lauded Romania for boosting its defense spending to meet the NATO target of 2 percent of gross domestic product, even as the American appeared to attribute the Romanian decision to his calls for Europeans to devote more money to the military.

“The money is starting to pour in,” Trump said. “Other countries are starting to realize that it’s time to pay up and they’re doing that. Very proud of that fact.”