May 25, 2017 / 8:08 PM / 2 years ago

NATO chief says Trump committed to alliance, 'blunt' on spending demands

President Trump speaks beside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the NATO summit. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after hosting allied leaders that U.S. President Donald Trump was clear on his commitment to defending Europe and also “blunt” on demands for more defense spending by allies.

Trump failed to reassure NATO allies during his first meeting with them in Brussels on Thursday but Stoltenberg said the U.S. leader has been “clear” and “stated strongly” his commitment to both the alliance and its key principle of collective defense.

“Trump has been clear on his commitment to NATO. But President Trump has also been clear in the message to all allies that we have to deliver on the pledge we made to increase defense spending,” Stoltenberg said.

“He was blunt on that message today and we have seen this plain speaking from President Trump also before.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Robin Emmott, Robert-Jan Bartunek

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