Burden-sharing high on agenda of summit: NATO chief

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-10 23:34:51|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BRUSSELS, July 10 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said defense spending and burden-sharing will be high on the agenda of the upcoming NATO summit.

The leaders of 29 NATO Allies and many partner nations will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday for a summit at the Alliance's new headquarters.

"They will take decisions to strengthen NATO's deterrence and defense, step up in the fight against terrorism, and achieve fairer burden-sharing," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of the summit.

"We expect 8 Allies to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense this year, compared to just 3 Allies in 2014," he said, adding that, "We estimate that European Allies and Canada will add an extra 266 billion U.S. dollars to defense between now and 2024".

As for NATO's role in the fight against terrorism, Stoltenberg said Allies will agree more support for partners in the Middle East and North Africa, including Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan.

To strengthen NATO's deterrence and defense, he said leaders are expected to adopt a Readiness Initiative -- the Four Thirties.

"Allies are also set to invite Skopje to start accession talks, once the historic agreement on the name issue is finalized and implemented," he added.

During the meetings, Allies will also address key security challenges with leaders from Finland and Sweden, as well as the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged NATO European members to increase their defense spending. He said on Twitter on the eve of the NATO summit: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!"