US President Donald Trump called on NATO members to focus on defeating terrorism and urged them to pay a fair share towards the Alliance’s upkeep.
Trump on Thursday was speaking during the unveiling of a monument ceded by the US to Brussels to commemorate the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, alongside leaders of member countries, Efe news reported.
“The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders,” Trump said.
The President also called for a minute’s silence for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack on Monday evening.
The President said others needed to comply with their financial obligations toward the Alliance in order to guarantee their common defence and accused 23 of NATO’s 28 members of not paying their dues.
“That is not fair to the taxpayers of the United States,” he said. “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations.”
Trump said that the US had spent more on defence in the last nine years than all the other members together.
“Even two percent of GDP is insufficient,” noted Trump, adding that this was a “bare minimum” to tackle present threats.
Finally, he thanked the 9/11 Museum in New York for providing a section of the North Tower and the people of Germany for a section of the Berlin Wall to be displayed at the new NATO headquarters.
“I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost. I refused to do that,” he said.
Trump was in Brussels for his first NATO summit before travelling to the Sicilian city of Taormina for a G7 leaders’ meeting that would conclude his first Presidential international trip.