Trump, NATO chief hold joint news conference
At a meeting in Brussels last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated, "As President Trump has made clear, it is no longer sustainable for the US to maintain a disproportionate share of NATO's defense expenditures," APA reports quoting sputniknews
On Tuesday, Trump signed a US instrument of ratification to allow the Balkan nation of Montenegro to join NATO following a Senate vote in March to support the ratification.
"We must work together to solve the disaster taking place in Syria," he added. "It is time to end this brutal civil war, defeat terrorists, and allow refugees to return home."
Trump said other countries must pay their "fair share" instead of relying on the US, which he says will make everyone more secure. Pointing to NATO spending criteria, Trump said "many have not been doing that."
Trump said, "I said NATO was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete." Such comments imply that Trump believes his sharp words directed at NATO have led to the alliance's increased participation in the fight against terror.
"A strong NATO is good for Europe, but it is also good for the United States," Stoltenberg declared.
In a "dangerous" world, the US benefits from NATO participation, the NATO secretary said. "We launched NATO's biggest military effort ever in Afghanistan…thousands have served shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops," he added.
He said NATO's contribution to the fight in Afghanistan represents NATO's commitment to fighting terrorism, but did not mention Syria or Iraq. The duo had a "major" discussion on "burden-sharing" in the alliance during their Wednesday discussions. "It is about spending more on defense. It is about providing the capabilities we need…this means cash, capabilities, and contributions," Stoltenberg said.
He added that there has been significant "momentum" to boost spending among NATO continues, adding "we know we need to pay our fair share." He said chemical attacks "cannot go unanswered" in Syria but did not lay out a NATO strategy for how the military alliance would move forward in Syria.
"I think Tillerson had a very successful meeting in Russia," Trump said, "maybe better than anticipated," but it's less about discussions and more about accomplishing goals.
"Putin is the leader of Russia. Russia is a strong country," Trump said, saying NATO should look to improve relations with Moscow.
"It would be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin, with Russia…I would like to get along with everyone…by the time I'm finished [the world] will be a much better place," Trump vowed. He said that Washington would like to cooperate with Beijing in the Korean Peninsula, but that the US would "go it alone, but going in alone means going in with other nations."
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