Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a meeting with the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump
First of all, it’s great to see you again Mr. President, and it’s good to have you here for the Summit.
And we are going to discuss many important issues at the Summit, among them is defence spending. And we all agree that we have to do more, I agree with you that we have to make sure that our Allies invest more. The good news is that Allies have started to invest more already in defence. After years of cutting in defence budgets they’ve started to add billions to the defence budgets. And last year was the biggest increase in defence spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.
Also because of your leadership, because [inaudible] mattered. I’ve said it before and I say it again that is really has [inaudible]. Your message is having an impact and we are going to make sure that we have further increases. You negotiated last year that all Allies are going to develop national plans on how to spend more on defence, and based on these national plans we now estimate that the European Allies and Canada will add 266 billion extra US dollars for defence from now until 2024. So this is really adding some extra money. It helps and we are moving in the right direction but we still have to do more and that is what we are going to address at the Summit later on today. Let me also add that a strong NATO is good for Europe but it’s also good for the United States.
The US military presence in Europe helps to protect Europe but it also helps the United States to project power to the Middle-East, to Africa and I think also that the clout, the military clout of Europe, the economical clout, the political clout also is helpful dealing with Russia.
And we look forward to your meeting with President Putin and I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about your meeting with President Putin.