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Friday, 5 March 2021

Biden aims to rebuild NATO trust after Trump era

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Biden aims to rebuild NATO trust after Trump era
Biden aims to rebuild NATO trust after Trump era

The U.S. will use a NATO summit this week to emphasize Washington's sharp departure from the stance of the Trump administration.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration will use a virtual NATO defense gathering this week as a starting point toward rebuilding trust with European allies shaken by Donald Trump's "America First" foreign policy.

U.S. officials who asked to remain anonymous said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would emphasize Washington's commitment to the trans-Atlantic treaty after Trump's open hostility.

Biden's Republican predecessor publicly ridiculed NATO allies such as Germany, who failed to reach defense spending targets.

"I think that NATO was not doing what they were supposed to be doing," [said Trump in 2018.] Officials said Biden will not abandon those targets, but will focus on bolstering NATO's collective defense.

Underscoring Biden's views on NATO, the White House took the rare step of releasing a video last month of the U.S. president's first conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in which he used the word "sacred" to describe the America's commitment to the treaty.

The NATO defense ministers meeting comes as efforts to secure a peace deal in Afghanistan teeter amid rising Taliban attacks.

"The Taliban must reduce violence, negotiate in good faith and live up to their commitment to stop cooperating with international terrorist groups.

NATO chief Stoltenberg said on Monday (February 15) Taliban militants must do more to meet the terms of a 2020 peace agreement with the U.S. if foreign troops are to withdraw by a May deadline.

"While no ally wants to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary, we will not leave before the time is right."


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