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Trump wants NATO to step up defence spending by year-end, says Pence

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump expects by the end of the year “real progress” among NATO allies to step up their defence spending towards the minimum criteria of two percent of their economic output, Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday.

Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Pence said: “America will do our part but European defence requires European commitment as much as ours... The president expects real progress by the end of 2017.”

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Phil Blenkinsop, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska