US President Donald Trump is all set to visit London for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Leaders Meeting in next month, at a time when the bloc’s future and unity come under question, according to White House on Friday
Trump’s visit will be scheduled between December 2 and 4, to review the alliance’s burden sharing process, as well as calling on his counterparts to bolster their readiness, especially in the fields of cyberspace, infrastructure, telecommunications and anti-terrorism, according to the statement that was released.
The visit comes as tension between NATO’s member states becomes more public, most notably on the issue of burden-sharing, which pitted the United States and European members against each other.
Last Sunday, Trump confirmed his recent visit to London next month to attend the NATO Leaders’ Meeting to commemorate the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
In a recent scathing attack, French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO is undergoing “brain death,” triggering a backlash from Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan’s visit to the US comes amid tense relations between the two NATO allies.
Last week, a bipartisan group of legislators wrote to Trump in a letter that later made public, “Given this situation, we believe that now is a particularly inappropriate time for President Erdogan to visit the United States, and we urge you to rescind this invitation”.
After meeting with Trump in the White House Thursday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg sought to downplay questions from the press about the bloc’s future. “Despite differences, we are able to unite around our core cause, which is to defend and protect each other,” he said.
NATO was formed in 1949 by 12 countries and over the years expanded to include 29 member countries, with the latest addition being Montenegro in 2017.
Trump’s visit will also feature a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.