Trump to host NATO chief Stoltenberg next week


Washington [US], Oct 10 (ANI): US President Donald Trump will host NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg next week to discuss military spending and ensuring "more equitable burden-sharing." "The two leaders will discuss the NATO allies' progress on increasing defence spending and ensuring more equitable burden-sharing," the White House said in a statement on Saturday. Both the leaders are scheduled to meet on November 14 and will discuss counterterrorism, awareness on protecting 5G networks and building resilience against cyber-attacks. "The President will also stress the importance of strengthening the NATO Alliance's defence and deterrence against external threats, maintaining the focus on counterterrorism, raising Allies' awareness on protecting 5G networks and critical infrastructure, and building resilience against cyber-attacks," the White House added. NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. In April, the NATO chief had visited the White House and held discussion with the US President. The meeting comes amid deteriorating relations between US and NATO allies. Trump has repeatedly criticised NATO member states arguing that the US contributes a disproportionate amount to help the alliance compared to other member nations, reported The Hill. On 12 November, the Secretary General will receive the "Foreign Policy" Diplomat of the Year Award. On 14 November, he will deliver a keynote speech at the NATO Industry Forum. Member nations agreed in 2014 to spend 2 per cent of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024, but only a handful of them have already hit that target. Trump's remarks received a sharp reaction from the NATO chief. Stoltenberg had said in January that Trump's criticism of other NATO members was "having an impact." "NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear, and now NATO allies are stepping up," he said. Moreover, NATO allies have also registered their displeasure over Trump's remarks. French President Emmanuel Macron recently said that the alliance is undergoing a "brain death" due to a lack of commitment from the U.S. "I don't know [whether Article Five remains in effect]," Macron said, referring to the collective defence agreement. "But what will Article Five mean tomorrow?" (ANI)