American people expect our allies to keep their word and do more in our common defense.
VP Mike Pence

America will continue to do our part but Europe’s defense requires Europe’s commitment as much as it does ours. Because a stronger NATO means a safer world.

As PresidentTrump has said: for too long, too many in NATO haven’t done their part to fairly pay the cost of our common defense.

The world needs NATO’s strength and leadership now more than ever before. Immediate and steady progress needs in defense spending among member countries. NATO has set a goal that nations should spend the equivalent of 2 percent of their GDP on defense, but many don’t.

The United States is expressing strong support for NATO even as we challenge NATO and challenge our allies to evolve to the new and widening challenges and further meet their responsibilities.

© photocredit

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America’s unwavering commitment to the transatlantic bond.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Mr. Stoltenberg stressed the partnership between Europe and North America, embodied in the NATO Alliance, remains vital today. He underlined the deployment of American troops to Europe as a key US contribution to Europe’s security. Allies face the biggest security challenges in a generation and “we are stronger when we stand together,” said the Secretary General.

The only time NATO has invoked its collective defence clause was in support of the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. During their talks, The Secretary General and the Vice President discussed the progress made in the fight against terrorism. Mr. Stoltenberg recalled that NATO is training security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and supports the US-led Coalition against ISIL with AWACS surveillance planes. Mr. Stoltenberg and Vice President Pence agreed NATO can do even more in the fight against terrorism.

The Secretary General and the Vice President agreed on the importance of higher defence spending and fairer burden-sharing in NATO. Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that this has been his top priority since he took office and it is essential Allies continue to increase their efforts to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence. “Europeans cannot ask the United States to commit to Europe’s defence if they are not willing to commit more themselves. And they are committing more,” he said. The Secretary General said he looked forward to welcoming President Trump to Brussels in May for the NATO Summit

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Brussels NATO Headquarters, 20 Feb. 2017 – Vice President Pence, welcome to NATO headquarters. It is really a great honour and a great pleasure to have you here. Just a month after you took office and just a few days after your great speech in Munich. Where you so clearly declared the commitment and unwavering support of the US to the transatlantic bond. We welcome that because we see the strong commitment of the US to the transatlantic bond not only in words but also in deeds.

These days the US is deploying new forces, additional forces, to Europe which is of great importance for the security of Europe and which is demonstrates the strong transatlantic commitment of the US and we are very grateful for this commitment.

You also stressed that just as the US stood with Europe, Europe stood tall with the US. And we have to remember that the only time that the Alliance has invoked our NATO has invoked our collective defence clause, Article 5, our, was after an attack on the US. And this was more than just a gesture. Several hundred thousands of Canadian and European troops have served in Afghanistan. And more than a thousand paid the ultimate price.
The bond between the US and Europe, embodied in the NATO Alliance, is very important today, because we live in times of turmoil and instability and then we need a strong Alliance more than ever. And we are stronger when we stand together.

During our meeting we discussed our progress in the fight against terrorism. NATO continues to train security forces in Afghanistan. We have started to train security forces and officers in Iraq. And we support the US-led Coalition against ISIL with AWACS surveillance planes. But we agree that the Alliance can, and should do more, in the fight against terrorism.

We also agree on the importance of higher defence spending and fairer burden-sharing in NATO. This has been my top priority since I took office. Europeans cannot ask the United States to commit to Europe’s defence if they are not willing to commit more themselves. And they are committing more. In 2016, after many years of cuts, we turned a corner. Defence spending increased across Europe and Canada by 3.8 percent in real terms, or ten billion US dollars more. But we still have a long way to go, so all Allies must speed up their efforts to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence. This will be an important point when Allied leaders meet here in Brussels in May.

Thank you for our excellent discussion. We agree that NATO is the most successful Alliance in history because NATO has been able to adapt and change when the world is changing. And we agree that we must continue to change, to keep our people safe. US leadership remains indispensable. So I really look forward to working with you.

And to welcoming President Trump in Brussels in May. [Source.]

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Related:

§ [Joint remarks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Vice President of the United States of America, Michael Pence]

§ [Q&A session at the joint press]

§ [Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Vice President Michael Pence]

§ [Joint Statement]

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