President Donald Trump his holding a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Donald Trump who has once called NATO “obsolete” will be making his very first foreign trip on May 25 to a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels.
Ahead of this meeting he is holding a press conference with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg.
A Senior administration official revealed in a press briefing Mr Trump will use the opportunity to find ways of increasing NATO defence spending.
“The President will also highlight the importance of NATO allies taking on their fair share of the burden of the collective defense of the North Atlantic region,” the official said.
“In that connection, we expect the President and Secretary General to discuss how they can work with other NATO allies to increase defense budgets in line with the 2014 Wales pledge on defense investment.”
The 2014 Wales pledge called for NATO member states to put forward 2 per cent of their GDP’s to defence spending.
The White House official added: “And so the President and Secretary General are likely to see eye-to-eye on that issue and talk about ways that they can cooperate together to work with allies to get defense spending up.”
With the recent US airstrike in Syria and the escalating tensions with North Korea, Mr Trump could use the opportunity reassure of his “ironclad” commitment to the NATO pact.
According to the senior official Mr Trump has been reassuring NATO-allied leaders he was still firmly backing NATO.
“I can’t speak for what’s in the President’s mind right now, but the President has made it very clear repeatedly that he’s 100 percent committed to NATO,” the official said.
“He has met already with several leader of NATO-allied countries – the UK, Germany, the Prime Minister of Denmark last week.
“He’s made over a dozen calls to leaders of NATO-allied countries and emphasized to all of them that he’s 100 percent committed to the Alliance.”
The meeting will also take a look at the possibility of Montenegro joining the North Atlantic Treaty which the White House has already green-lit.
America’s stance on the matter is that Montenegro’s membership will strengthen the pact and US security.
The White House official said: “Montenegro now spends 1.7 percent of its GDP in defense – a higher proportion than all but six other NATO allies.
“They’ve demonstrated political will and courage in implementing important military and rule of law reforms, setting an example for other NATO aspirants. “