Apr 21, 2017
President Donald Trump recently welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the White House to discuss strengthening the Alliance, including through increased defense spending by Allies. In their meeting, the two leaders also discussed NATO's role in addressing international challenges involving peace and security, counterterrorism, and the situation in Syria.
President Trump noted NATO's long history as a "bulwark of international peace and security.” Since 1949, the NATO member states have more than doubled, increasing from 12 to 28. "In the coming months and years, the President said, "I'll work closely with all of our NATO allies to enhance this partnership and to adapt to the challenges of the future -- of which there will be many. This includes upgrading NATO to focus on today's most pressing security and all of its challenges, including migration and terrorism.”
President Trump also stressed the need for NATO members to invest in the Alliance. President Trump noted, “In facing our common challenges, we must also ensure that NATO members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. Many have not been doing that. The Secretary General [Stoltenberg] and I agree that other member nations must satisfy their responsibility to contribute 2 percent of GDP to defense.”
President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO and to the enduring values that the United States and its allies proudly share. Montenegro moved one step closer to becoming the 29th NATO member after President Trump signed the protocol ratifying U.S. agreement to Montenegro's accession to NATO on April 10. The Netherlands is the only remaining NATO member still completing its national process to ratify Montenegro's accession.
President Trump emphasized that the Alliance must work together to resolve the situation in Syria and thanked NATO members and partners for their condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's recent chemical weapons attack.
President Trump said, "We must not be trapped by the tired thinking that so many have, but apply new solutions to face new circumstances. And that's all throughout the world. We're not here to stand on ceremony but to develop real strategies to achieve safety, security and peace. We're here to protect the freedom and prosperity of our citizens and to give them the future they so richly deserve."