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Trump says NATO countries burden-sharing improving, wants more

Trump says NATO countries burden-sharing improving, wants more
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg while meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts   -   Copyright  JOSHUA ROBERTS(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday NATO member nations have improved in bearing a greater share of defence costs but added that he hoped to see them spend even more in future years.

“We’ve worked together in getting some of our allies to pay their fair share. It’s called burden sharing,” Trump said at the White House during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump repeated his complaint that the United States pays a disproportionate share of defence costs for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

However, he added that “tremendous progress” had been made and said the U.S. relationship with NATO was good and the relationship with Stoltenberg is “outstanding.”

The U.S. president said he would like to see NATO members pay more than 2 percent of gross domestic product for defence. Trump told NATO leaders last year to increase defence spending to 4 percent of GDP.

Trump singled out Germany. “Germany honestly is not paying their fair share,” he said. “They’re not paying what they should be paying. They’re paying close to 1 percent.”

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Doina Chiacu, editing by G Crosse and Chizu Nomiyama)

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