The White House officially confirmed that United States president Donald Trump will attend a meeting with NATO leaders, in May. According to the official statement, the president is eager to meet his counterparts. He also wants to reassure them that the country is still committed to the alliance. Apart from that, Trump reportedly also wants to discuss critical matters regarding the fight against terrorism. Also, NATO’s role in it all. The statement also reveals that next month, Trump will receive Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House. They will reportedly talk about new ways to make the alliance stronger. Both of them want it to become more able to deal with the many national and international security issues.
A NATO summit
This visit by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will reportedly act as a preparation ahead of the May 25 NATO summit in Brussels. The summit will reportedly focus on NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism and the increase in defense spending. This is a matter which president Trump discussed numerous times. He often stated that some nations do not pay enough for NATO’s defense, but are benefitting from its aid.
Interestingly enough, just before the announcement that Trump would go to the NATO meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that he would not go to a NATO foreign ministers meeting. Tillerson will reportedly be very busing hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of this month. In April, he will make an official visit to Russia. Because of his busy schedule, the State Department suggested NATO to move the meeting to another date. This way, the Secretary of State would be available too.
Tillerson causes controversy
However, it seems like this decision by Rex Tillerson raised some eyebrows, especially among some NATO officials. According to Democrats, the fact that he decided to receive the Chinese president and then go to Russia, completely ignoring NATO, only proves how little does the United States care about this alliance. According to a State Department spokesman, the only reason for Tillerson not attending the meeting is that his schedule does not allow it.
Tillerson has been doing some other things which caused some discussions. For example, on March 7, he wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In it, he was asking the Congress to ratify Montenegro’s NATO membership. Four nations have not accepted Montenegro’s membership into NATO and the USA is one of them.
This is a great move on the part of the Administration Trump will be seen going to NATO and supporting our allies. Maybe he can get Germany to pay up while he’s there because they haven’t been paying their fair share.
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