U.S. President Donald Trump (R, Rear) and visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis (L, Rear) attend a joint press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 9, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump said during the press conference on Friday for the first time that he was committed to the NATO charter's Article 5 on mutual defense. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, June 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday for the first time that he was committed to the NATO charter's Article 5 on mutual defense.
"I'm committing the United States and have committed, but I'm committing the United States to Article 5," said Trump here at a joint press conference with visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
"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 kind of money necessary to have that force," said Trump.
However, Trump ignored the question when asked whether the United States saw Russia as a threat to regional security and peace.
It was the first time that Trump, who once called NATO "obsolete" and hinted that the United States may not defend its members unless they lived up to their financial obligations, had publicly affirmed his commitment to Article 5.
During the NATO summit last month, Trump did not personally affirmed his commitment to Article 5, raising widespread concerns across U.S. allies in Europe.