BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Barely 12 hours after being sworn in as US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo went straight to NATO Headquarters on Friday, where European allies saw strong support for an institution that US President Donald Trump once considered obsolete designated.
On a day of closed meetings with NATO foreign ministers, Pompeo seemed to enthrall the European allies with hard talk about Russia and a safer demeanor than his predecessor Rex Tillerson, but he still carried Trump's trusted demand for higher defense spending. He also made no promises as to whether his boss would stick to a 2015 agreement to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, instead warning that Trump would likely participate in a deal without major changes Europeans can not sustain.
"There was no decision, so the team is working and I'm sure we'll have a lot of talks to show what the President has made clear," Pompeo said at a press conference Deal with opponents discussed.
"If there is no essential solution, it will be unlikely that he will stay with this deal," said Pompeo.
Pompeo, who once suggested the answer to Tehran's nuclear program, was 2,000 bombing raids, said he expected to discuss the issue during the rest of his trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan.
"MEET THE OBJECTIVES"
In Brussels, Pompeo urged allies to fulfill NATO's goal of spending 2 percent of economic output and 20 percent of military equipment, and said it would be a central part of an Allies summit 1
At a NATO summit in Wales in 2014, months after the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula by Russia, the Allies agreed to put an end to years of defensive cuts that did not provide Europeans with vital skills such as refueling fighter-bombers ,
But Trump has gone further and denounced the European leaders in Brussels last year to NATO that certain allies owed "huge sums of money" to the United States and NATO – although the Allies' contributions are voluntary and have several budgets.
NATO Europe's spending is rising again and Germany, Europe's largest economy, has increased its defense budget. The expenditure ratio will rise to 1.3 percent next year.
When asked if Germany is doing enough to meet NATO's 2% target, Pompeo said, "No … (Germany) should meet the goals they agreed to … that's the expectation Not just for Germany, but for everyone. "