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U.S. again asks Europe to increase defense spending

Staff Writer |
Visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Europe needed to increase defense spending for the sake of fair burden-sharing among NATO members.

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"America will do our part, but Europe's defense requires Europe's commitment as much as ours," Pence told a press conference after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO headquarters.

The U.S. has repeatedly called for fair burden-sharing of NATO defense spending. Earlier, Pence told the Munich Security Conference that "the promise to share the burden of our defence has gone unfulfilled for too many for too long".

Stoltenberg thanked Pence for his declaration on U.S. commitment and unwavering support to the transatlantic bond.

Stoltenberg also said he agreed that higher defense spending and a fairer burden-sharing in NATO was important.

"Europeans cannot ask the United States to commit to Europe's defense if they are not willing to commit more themselves," Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg stressed the bond between the United States and Europe was important due to the turmoil and instability in the world, and said he looked forward to welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump to Brussels in May for the NATO summit.

Pence said that Trump expected NATO allies to make real progress by the end of this year.

"If you have a plan to get there, our alliance needs you to accelerate it. If you don't yet have a plan - get one," Pence said.

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