President Donald Trump has confirmed the US’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the collective defence pact that treats an attack on one ally as an attack on all members of the alliance. Expressing his commitment to defend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, Trump asked its member countries to spend two per cent of their GDP, as committed, on defence. “I’m committing the United States to Article Five, and certainly, we are there to protect and that’s one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force, by paying the kinds of money necessary to have that force,” Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with the visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis yesterday.”Absolutely, I’d be committed to Article 5,” Trump said responding to a question on NATO.
Trump also refereed to his May 25 speech in Brussels this year, where he told his NATO allies that all members of the alliance must pay their fair share of defence spending. “One of the things I was referring to during that speech was the fact that yes, they haven’t paid what they should be paying now, but for many years they haven’t been paying. So I said, do we ever go back and say how about paying the money from many, many years past?Now, I know no president has ever asked that question, but I do,” he said, “We’re going to make NATO very strong. You need the money to make it strong. You can’t just do what we’ve been doing in the past,” Trump said. “Yes, you haven’t paid this year but what about the past years, the many past years where you haven’t paid? Perhaps you should pay some or all of that money back,” Trump said repeating an excerpt of his own speech.
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The Romanian president said NATO and the European Union do not have to compete against each other, rather they need to work in synergy to make the alliance stronger. “They have to work together. They have to work in such a manner as to produce synergistic effects, make NATO stronger, make Europe stronger, make the United States of America stronger,” he said. Iohannis said that his responsibility and that of his US counterpart’s go beyond security of their citizens, as he called for strengthening the ties for an enhanced economic exchange between the two countries. “This is what we decided, President Trump and I, to make our partnership stronger, better, more enduring. And this will lead very soon to an enhanced economic exchange, to better commerce, and this is what we all decide and what we wish, because we are responsible, President Trump and I, not only for the security, we are responsible for the well-being of our citizens, and this is what we are decided to do,” Iohannis said.