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NATO's Stoltenberg will be invited to address U.S. Congress - source

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NATO's Stoltenberg will be invited to address U.S. Congress - source
FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  FRANCOIS LENOIR(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to invite NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint meeting of Congress in April, as the alliance celebrates its 70th anniversary, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.

The invitation, which comes after President Donald Trump has questioned NATO’s value to Washington, is supported by the other leaders of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, the source said.

In February, Pelosi led a 50-member delegation of U.S. lawmakers to Brussels, where they sought to reassure European allies that differences over Trump’s policies were mere “family squabbles” and that transatlantic ties remained strong.

Pelosi met with NATO’s leadership during that visit.

The European Union and United States have traditionally been the closest of allies, also working together through NATO.

Trump, however, has lambasted his European peers for not spending enough on defence, raising doubts among many in Europe about his commitment to the Western military alliance and Europe’s broader security.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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