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World leaders arrive at a NATO reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, Tuesday, December 3, in London. Heads of the state include British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Stoltenberg praised Trump on Tuesday, saying his leadership on the issue of burden-sharing NATO’s budget is “having a real impact.” He cited a $130 billion increase in defense budgets among the non-U.S. NATO members and said that would go to $400 billion by 2024.
Only 9 out of 29 member countries currently meet NATO’s guideline of spending 2% of their GDP on collective defense. In addition to budget discussions, NATO’s secretary-general said leaders would be talking about counterterrorism efforts, arms control, relations with Russia and the rise of China.
Stoltenberg also rejected the suggestion that NATO is “brain-dead” saying that the alliance is active, agile and adapting. “We have just implemented the largest reinforcements of collective defense since the end of the Cold War,” he added.