BRUSSELS – The head of NATO said on Tuesday that he believed the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Brussels would be a success despite ongoing disagreements on trade between the United States and other member countries.
At a press conference a day ahead of the start of a two-day summit in the Belgian capital, Jens Stoltenberg said he was certain the meeting would demonstrate that NATO could achieve significant results in defense and security despite the tensions.
“I am confident we’ll agree on the fundamentals. North America and Europe stand together. We’ll take decisions to strengthen our Alliance & protect our citizens for years to come,” he said, according to spokesperson Oana Lungescu.
Before traveling to Europe for the summit, the United States president again took to Twitter to denounce that he felt his country paid too much money to NATO while many other states did not reach the minimum payment agreed on, a two percent of each country’s GDP.
Stoltenberg said European countries and Canada were predicted to be adding an extra $266 billion to their defense budgets by 2024, though he acknowledged that there were dissenting views within the Alliance, including on trade.
The US and EU have been in a tit-for-tat trade conflict after Trump imposed steep tariffs and Brussels reciprocated.
But the NATO chief said that, while these trade troubles remain unresolved, it was important to ensure any negative impact on cooperation within the Alliance be minimized.