WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will try to convince U.S. allies that they should increase defense spending when he attends a meeting of NATO leaders next month in London, the White House said Friday.
Trump, who met this week at the White House with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, has long pushed allies to reduce their reliance on the United States for security assistance.
``We are making real progress,” Stoltenberg told The Associated Press in an interview on Thursday. “Before allies were cutting defense budgets. Now, they are adding billions to their budgets and by the end of next year, NATO allies in Europe and Canada will have added $100 billion or actually more than $100 billion to their defense spending” since 2016.
Trump’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said Trump will attend the NATO meeting from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4, and will also stress NATO’s readiness to respond to terrorist threats and cyberattacks that target infrastructure and telecommunications networks.
She said the president and first lady Melania Trump will also go to a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.