08:30 GMT27 February 2020
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    NATO welcomes US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis's calls on the member states to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on the military, the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Mattis noted that only five member states of the 28-member NATO alliance that fully met their funding commitments, warning that if those failing to comply with the requirement "do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance" they should "show support for our common defense."

    NATO set a 2-percent target of defense spending in 2006.

    "I think it is a message [sent by Mattis] that is fully understood and therefore welcomed… I think important thing now is not to speculate on what will happen if NATO is not able to deliver on increased defense spending but to focus on how to implement, how to deliver… the pledge we've made to increase defense investments," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    Also on Wednesday, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon following his first meeting with Mattis, also called on the NATO members to increase their defense spending despite Tuesday's International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) report that the United Kingdom itself did not meet the NATO spending targets, having spent only 1.98 percent.

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    NATO, Jim Mattis, Michael Fallon, United States
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