06:56 GMT +326 June 2019
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    A US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft flies at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on April 27, 2016 behind flags of US, Lithiania and the NATO

    Burden of Commitment: Trump Reaffirms US Support for NATO

    © AFP 2019 / Petras Malukas
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    Despite calling NATO an "obsolete" alliance during the heated presidential race in the United States, Donald Trump has reassured his allies of Washington's commitment to the bloc after taking office.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump held a phone talk with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni during which he reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to NATO, the White House said in a statement.

    "President Trump reiterated the US commitment to NATO and emphasized the importance of all NATO allies sharing the monetary burden of defense spending," the readout of the talk said.

    The leaders also discussed bilateral cooperation in various areas, including security and counterterrorism, as well as the refugee crisis and the situation in Libya, the statement added.

    "President Trump agreed to attend the G-7 Summit it Taormina, Italy in May, and said he looked forward to meeting with the Prime Minister at that time," the White House explained.

    During his presidential election campaign Trump repeatedly declared that NATO had become obsolete and threatened to decrease support for those European NATO states who fail to fulfill their obligations as part of the military alliance, particularly in the sphere of defense spending.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May managed to secure a commitment from Donald Trump that he will fully support NATO.

    During a press conference on January 27, as the UK PM was the first foreign minister to visit Trump at the White House, she was able to get the US president to stand behind the military alliance, which contradicts his views that NATO is "obsolete" which he expressed in the run-up to the US election.

    According to the latest Sputnik.Polls survey, more than half of the Europeans polled believe that the EU does need the protection offered by the US and NATO, while only 48 percent of American respondents share their opinion on the matter.

    Related:

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    EU Should Consolidate in Response to Trump’s Criticism of Bloc, NATO
    Stoltenberg: NATO Looks Forward to Cooperation With US President Trump
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    commitment, NATO, Paolo Gentiloni, Donald Trump, Theresa May, United States
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