President Donald Trump is meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington next week, with talks including "more equitable burden-sharing" among alliance members — a longstanding sore point with Trump.
The meeting between the two leaders was contained in a statement from the White House on Saturday, The Hill reported.
"The two leaders will discuss the NATO allies' progress on increasing defense spending and ensuring more equitable burden-sharing," the statement said.
"The president will also stress the importance of strengthening the NATO Alliance's defense and deterrence against external threats, maintaining the focus on counterterrorism, raising Allies' awareness on protecting 5G networks and critical infrastructure, and building resilience against cyber-attacks," the statement added.
Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO, arguing the United States contributes a disproportionate amount to help the alliance compared with the 28 other member nations.
Members contribute toward defense spending in their respective budgets.
Though Stoltenberg in January said the allies "have heard the president loud and clear, and now NATO allies are stepping up," French President Emmanuel Macron lamented last week the alliance was undergoing a "brain death" because of a lack of U.S. commitment.
NATO "only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such," he said. "I'd argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States."
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