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Stoltenberg has 'Good Talk' with Trump on NATO Future

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. (AFP photo/Thierry Charlier)
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. (AFP photo/Thierry Charlier)

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Friday he had a positive talk with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on the future of the U.S.-led alliance, amid concerns in Europe about Washington's commitment.

"Good talk with US President-elect realDonaldTrump. We both underlined the enduring importance of NATO and increased defense spending," Stoltenberg tweeted.

Trump caused consternation among NATO allies in Europe during the election campaign when he suggested Washington might think twice about coming to the rescue of an ally under threat if it had not paid its NATO dues.

Favorable comments about President Vladimir Putin added to concerns of a major policy switch, just as NATO mounted its biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter a more assertive Russia.

A NATO statement said Stoltenberg spoke by phone with Trump, congratulating him on his election victory and looking forward to working with his national security team.

The two men "discussed how NATO is adapting to the new security environment, including to counter the threat of terrorism," it said.

Stoltenberg thanked Trump for "raising the issue of defense spending during the campaign, which has been a top priority for the secretary general since his appointment in 2014."

"The two leaders agreed that progress has been made on fairer burden-sharing but that there is more to do," the statement added.

Copyright (2016) AFP. All rights reserved.

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