U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed on Friday on the Western alliance`s ”enduring importance”, NATO said, striving to reassure Europe that Washington will remain committed to its security, according to Reuters.
”The president-elect and the secretary general both underlined NATO`s enduring importance and discussed how NATO is adapting to the new security environment, including to counter the threat of terrorism,” NATO said in a statement after a phone conversation between Trump and Stoltenberg, Reuters reported.
The NATO statement said the Republican Trump, who will succeed Democratic President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, is expected in Brussels for a NATO summit next year.
The two leaders also addressed defense spending and agreed that ”progress has been made on fairer burden-sharing, but that there is more to do” – underlining the fact that the United States spends far more on defense than Europe does.
After the break-up of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago, NATO`s European members cut defense spending to historic lows, leaving the United States to make up around three-quarters of the alliance`s military expenditure.
Trump questioned during his election campaign whether the United States should protect allies seen as spending too little on their defense, raising fears that he could withdraw funding for NATO at a time of heightened tensions with Russia, Reuters reminds.