Pompeo Dives in at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on 1st Trip as Top US Diplomat

30 April, 2018, 12:02 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Pompeo meets with NATO in Brussels

"NATO is wonderful, but it helps Europe more than it helps us", Trump said ahead of his meeting with the German leader.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday welcomed the "historic meeting on the Korean Peninsula", noting that the alliance "fully supports a political solution to the tensions in the region".

"How do you deal with a military environment in which attacks come below the threshold of the Article 5 commitment to mutual support but do demand a common response?" he asked, referring to the alliance s mutual self-defence pact.

"European nations must bear the necessary responsibilities for their security and make the case to their fellow citizens why it is critical to fulfil their obligations on defence spending", Pompeo told reporters after the meeting.

That commitment came into question after Trump repeatedly slammed allies for not contributing enough to burden sharing within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, where the U.S. is by far the biggest spender on defence.

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Meanwhile, NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated on Friday that purchasing the Russian air defense system "is Turkey's national decision", urging Washington to hold a dialogue with Ankara, Turkey-based Daily Sabah reported. "But at the same time to keep the channels for dialogue open". That coordination was started by Pompeo's predecessor, Rex Tillerson, who was sacked by Trump last month, and had languished in the absence of a new secretary of state. "There was a consensus by all countries to deliver their plans, including those who have not yet done so", he said.

Pompeo, a former Army officer who was a Republican congressman, is regarded as a loyal supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump with hawkish world views.

Luxembourg s veteran Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told AFP Pompeo had got his point across without causing upset.

France and Britain took part in a recent US-led punishment strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad s chemical arsenal, but Germany has not joined recent missions and Merkel s meeting will be less warm than Macron s.

"I think that's actually a new record", Stoltenberg said. That effort involves "several hundred" North Atlantic Treaty Organisation personnel, according to Stoltenberg, who will help build up military academies with the aim of preventing the re-emergence of the Islamic State group. The Senate confirmed his nomination to become secretary of state on Thursday, paving the way for him to embark on a trip that will include stops in Brussels, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan.


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