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03:21, 19 July 2018 Thursday
15:50, 12 July 2018 Thursday

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NATO members agree to boost defense spending
NATO members agree to boost defense spending

US commitment to NATO remains very strong, mostly due to allies' commitment to spend more, Donald Trump tells reporters

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that America’s NATO allies will boost their defense spending.

At a press conference in Brussels, Trump said that the allies agreed to substantially raise their commitments, giving an unofficial number of $33 billion -- not including the U.S. -- above last year.

Trump said that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will give the exact numbers later on Thursday.

"Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before," he said.

"The U.S. commitment to NATO remains very strong but primarily because everyone, the spirit they have, the amount of money they are willing to spend, and the additional money that they will be putting up has been really amazing to see it," he said.

Trump characterized the NATO summit in Brussels as "fantastic two days" with results which were supported by other member countries.

On Wednesday, day one of the meeting, Trump took aim at NATO members’ defense spending, calling on allies to not only meet the minimum goal of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense, but urging them to double that to a total of 4 percent.

Only five NATO members have met the 2 percent benchmark to date, including the U.S. NATO expects the number of countries that are meeting the guideline to rise to eight this year, and expects the number to rise to 15 by 2024.

Trump, however, sent a tweet from the summit insisting members "must" meet the goal, set in 2014, "IMMEDIATELY." 

 


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