01:46 GMT20 September 2020
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    The cooperation between NATO's European members and the alliance's member states from the American continent allows the alliance to be strong, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He added that the alliance remained strong because its members had stood together, but potential debate was not a "sign of weakness."

    "So as long as NATO and the European Union complement not compete with each other this is something I really welcome. Because a strong Europe cannot mean Europe alone, just as I don't believe 'America first' means 'America alone.' That is the core of our transatlantic bond," Stoltenberg said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.

    The issue of relations within NATO between the United States and other allies has become a relevant matter in recent months, after the election of Donald Trump as the US president. During his campaign, as well as after the victory, the US politician has repeatedly criticized the alliance, calling for its member states to increase defense spending to fulfill their obligations as part of NATO.

    On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis threatened to cut US defense commitments unless all NATO members met the spending target.


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