US President Donald Trump is all set to host NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg next week at the White House, according to an official statement on Saturday.
The two leaders will discuss NATO allies’ “progress on increasing defense spending and ensuring more equitable burden-sharing,” the White House statement said.
Trump will also stress the importance of strengthening the alliance’s defence and deterrence against various threats, including terrorism and cyber-attacks, the statement further added.
Trump is expected to visit London next month to attend the NATO Leaders’ Meeting to commemorate the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
The Thursday meeting will come a week after NATO came in for cutting criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron, who told The Economist magazine that “what we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.”
In a recent interview, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the alliance was experiencing “brain death” because of a lack of strategic coordination and leadership from the US.
Macron was speaking ahead of a NATO summit meeting scheduled for December 3 and 4 in London.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking alongside Stoltenberg in Berlin after the Macron interview came out, defended NATO as “indispensable.”
In Washington, the NATO chief will also confer with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and members of Congress, the alliance said.
He will also attend a ministerial-level meeting of a broad international coalition against the Islamic State group.
This session was requested urgently by France after Trump announced he was pulling US troops out of northern Syria while raising fears that the jihadist organization could stage a comeback.
(With inputs from agency)