NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with U.S. President Donald Trump at Winfield House in London ahead of the Meeting of NATO Leaders on Tuesday (3 December 2019).
As President Trump has been pressing alliance partners to increase their defence spending, Mr. Stoltenberg said that in 2019 defence spending across European Allies and Canada increased in real terms by 4.6%, making this the fifth consecutive year of growth. He also revealed that by the end of 2020, those Allies will have invested $130 billion more since 2016.
Based on the latest estimates, according to NATO, the accumulated increase in defence spending by the end of 2024 will be $400 billion. Mr. Stoltenberg said: “This is unprecedented progress and it is making NATO stronger.”
The Secretary General also confirmed that more Allies are meeting the guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence. This year, 9 Allies will meet the guideline, up from only 3 Allies just a few years ago. “The majority of Allies have plans in place to reach 2% by 2024,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the two leaders also discussed further improvements to the readiness of Allied forces, stepping up the fight against terrorism and addressing other strategic challenges.
Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO is the most enduring and successful alliance in history as it continues to adapt to the evolving threats Allies face.
Photo courtesy: NATO
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