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US, Germany reaffirm NATO role despite Trump’s criticism

IANS | Washington |

US and Germany have reaffirmed the role of NATO to preserve stability on both sides of the Atlantic despite strong criticism of the military alliance by American President Donald Trump, the White House announced.

US Vice President Mike Pence and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel "agreed on NATO's centrality in ensuring the security and stability of North America and Europe. Both leaders reaffirmed that all NATO allies must meet their obligations and contribute their fair share to our collective security," according to a White House statement.

However, the two "also underscored that NATO must adapt to confront threats to our countries such as violent extremism and terrorism", Efe news reported.

The White House said that Pence will attend the Munich Security Conference at the end of the month and also travel to Brussels to discuss ways to strengthen the alliance with European partners.

Last year, Trump had criticised the European members of NATO for not paying enough to fund the alliance and said he might reduce US support to NATO, while expressing his willingness to improve ties with Russia.

However, during his conversation with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend, Trump agreed on the "the NATO alliance's fundamental importance" despite previously calling the alliance obsolete.