UPDATED 11:01 AM PT — Wednesday, March 27, 2019
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with President Trump next week. The White House released a statement Tuesday, saying Stoltenberg will meet with the president in private on April 2, 2019.
They are first expected to discuss challenges facing NATO, which will be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the international alliance for allowing its European members to shirk their financial responsibilities. Stoltenberg has praised those efforts, and said many European allies are now boosting defense spending.
“Last year, seven allies spent two-percent of GDP on defense and Romania was extremely close,” he explained. “They actually had a budget allocating two-percent of GDP for defense, but then GDP growth was stronger than expected, so they just slipped below the two-percent target — I expect, of course, this to continue and that allies will do even more.”
The meeting comes just before NATO celebrates its 70-year anniversary on April 4, 2019.