Secretary General Stoltenberg Meets with President Trump

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with US President Donald Trump ahead of Leaders meeting in London, December 3, 2019.

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Thank you very much, it’s a great honor to be with Secretary General Stoltenberg, NATO. This is our first meeting, my first meeting on this trip but we’ve met many times. I think he’s doing a fantastic job. I’m a big fan. His contract was extended, I was very happy about that. You really are, you’re doing a fantastic job, we appreciate it. I think the Secretary General will tell you that through some work and some negotiation, we’ve increased the budget of countries other than the USA because we’re paying far more than anybody else and far more even as a percentage of GDP. But we’ve increased the numbers that other countries are paying by $130 billion. It was going down for close to 20 years. If you look at chart, it was like a roller coaster, down, nothing up, it was going on for a long time. We wouldn’t have had a NATO if you kept going that way. And now we’ve really, we’ve increased it incredibly well. And I’m happy to have helped, but the Secretary has been looking to do that for a long time and I can tell you he’s very happy about it. And just generally, we’re going to have a very big couple of days, I believe we’re going to have a tremendous couple of days, but very big, very important. We have tremendous spirit as it pertains to NATO I would say, except perhaps for one country. I will be talking to that one country, we’ll see how it works out. And actually the one country has a couple of points, but those points are very devastating to NATO. We’ll find out about that in the next two days. And with that, I’d like to introduce the Secretary General. Say a few words, please.

Thank you so much, Mr. President. It’s good to see you again and I’m looking forward to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our alliance together with all the other leaders today and tomorrow. We are making real progress, most importantly on the burden sharing and your leadership on defense spending is having a real impact. Since 2016, Canada and European allies have added 130 billion more to the defense projects, and this number will increase to $400 billion US by 2024. This is unprecedented. This is making NATO stronger and it shows that this alliance is adapting, responding when the role is changing. We will, of course, also address a wide range of other issues, including the fight against terrorism, arms control, our relationship with Russia, the rise of China, and NATO is the most successful alliance in history because we have been able to change when the world is changing. That’s exactly what we are doing again. And the fact is that we are doing more together in this alliance now than we have done for many decades. So once again, thank you for you leadership and your strong commitment to NATO.

I loved your statement that we’re able to change when the world is changing, we do have to do that. Your original mission was somewhat different than it is now. Today, the world is a lot different than it was back then. But that’s a very profound statement and it’s a statement that everybody has to understand is very, to me, very important. Okay, thank you very much everybody.

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