- Title: NATO chief hopes to work with Trump on new security challenges
- Date: 9th November 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF NATO HEADQUARTERS
- Embargoed: 24th November 2016 09:34
- Keywords: US election Trump NATO Stoltenberg
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00157Q4OQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday (November 9) he looked forward to meeting U.S. President elect Donald Trump and said an U.S. leadership of the military Alliance was "as important as ever."
Speaking at a news conference at NATO's headquarters in Brussels after a meeting with the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, Stoltenberg said a strong NATO was in the interest of the United States.
"U.S. leadership is as important as ever. Our alliance has brought together America's closest friends in times of peace and of conflict for almost 70 years. A strong NATO is good for the United States, and it is good for Europe," Stoltenberg said.
He said more security challenges would lie ahead for the U.S.-led Alliance.
"NATO has responded with determination to the new security situation but we have more work to do and I look forward to meeting Mr. Trump soon, and welcoming him to Brussels for the NATO summit next year to discuss the way forward," Stoltenberg said.
Trump said in July during the presidential campaign he might abandon NATO's guarantee of mutual defence if he got elected.
In response to a question about potential Russian aggression against the Baltic states, Trump told the New York Times that Washington would help defend other NATO members only if they had "fulfilled their obligations to us."
This comment was followed by another one in August, in which he said he would work closely with NATO allies to defeat Islamic State militants if he wins the White House, reversing the earlier threat that the United States might not meet its obligations to the Western military alliance.
Trump then said a newly adopted approach to fighting terrorism by the organization had led him to change his mind and he no longer considered NATO obsolete. He was apparently referring to reports the alliance is moving toward creating an intelligence post in a bid to improve information sharing.
While Trump appeared to claim credit for prodding NATO to focus more on the threat of terrorism, the 28-nation alliance has been grappling with the issue for more than a decade. NATO invoked Article 5, its collective self-defence mechanism, for the first time in its history to offer support to the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
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