NATO chief to address US Congress as alliance marks anniversary





Washington - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will address a joint meeting of the US Congress next week when he visits Washington for a summit to mark 70 years since the military alliance was founded.



 
Stoltenberg will speak to a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, upon the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The invitation was seen as a way to chide President Donald Trump, who has at times appeared to waiver on his commitment to the alliance.
Stoltenberg is due to meet with Trump the day before he goes to Capitol Hill. Celebrations of NATO's 70th year will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, including a foreign ministers' meeting at the State Department.
The White House insists the president wants NATO members to meet their self-imposed target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, arguing that Washington is bearing too much of the burden. NATO says just seven of its 29 members met the goal last year.
Confirmation of the session was announced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and a NATO statement.
"America will once again reaffirm our commitment to our NATO allies, and we will ask them to do their fair share to make sure NATO is around for another 70 years," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a House committee on Wednesday when pressed by lawmakers

Thursday, March 28th 2019
(dpa)
           


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