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Stoltenberg confirms NATO commitment to spending 2 percent of GDP on defense: CNN

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday told CNN that the organization’s member countries have committed to defense spending at 2 percent of GDP, but would not confirm U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that the target was actually 4 percent.

“So we have a commitment to spend 2 percent. The important thing now is that we need to invest more - we need to get more money. And the good thing is that, very much because of that very clear message from President Trump on this meeting, I think that allies understand this need to do that,” Stoltenberg said after being repeatedly asked about Trump’s assertion that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had agreed to a 4-percent goal.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama