NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the White House on Tuesday (2 April 2019) for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. The Secretary General thanked President Trump for his strong leadership and commitment to NATO.
The two leaders discussed progress in the fight against terrorism and efforts to ensure fairer burden sharing within the Alliance.
“We have increased the readiness of our forces, we have stepped up in our joint fight against terrorism and we are investing more,” said the Secretary General.
Stoltenberg stressed that Europe and North America are doing more together, and European Allies and Canada are expected to add $100 billion more to their defence budgets by the end of next year.
The Secretary General is in Washington D.C. for the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Alliance.
For his part, President Trump said that, “Over the past two years, the Secretary General and I have developed a very strong working relationship. It’s been as good as it can be. We’re both committed to ensuring that NATO can address the full range of threats facing the Alliance today. And there are many threats. And I think, also, we’ve had and really taken many great steps forward.”
According to Trump, the United States alone accounts for the vast majority of NATO defense spending.
“We really cannot rely on one nation to defend all. If you look at it, the disproportionality of what the United States is doing is really too great, but we’re working on that,” Trump said, adding, ” Over $100 billion in new defense spending by the end of, actually, I think, this year, but it could be 220 [sic]. But I think, by 2020, I think we’ll have at least another $100 billion spent by the Allies, the other countries, the 27 countries outside of ourselves.”