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Merkel, Trump Discuss 'Fundamental Importance' Of NATO During Call

January 29, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump stressed the importance of the NATO alliance to global security during their first call since Trump's inauguration.

The leaders "agreed on the NATO alliance's fundamental importance to the broader transatlantic relationship and its role in ensuring the peace and stability of our North Atlantic community," according to a White House statement on January 28.

"In this vein, the leaders recognized that NATO must be capable of confronting 21st century threats and that our common defense requires appropriate investment in military capabilities to ensure all allies are contributing their fair share to our collective security."

Trump has worried some European allies after criticizing NATO, at one point calling it "obsolete" because it had not done enough to fight terrorism and saying that many members were not pulling their weight financially.

The two also discussed the "need to strengthen already robust cooperation in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and to work to stabilize conflict areas in the Middle East and North Africa."

A joint statement said that Russia and Ukraine were also discussed, without giving details.

A spokesman for Merkel said Trump had accepted the chancellor's invitation to attend the G20 meeting in Hamburg in July.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and The Washington Times

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/merkel-trump-discuss -natio-importance/28266044.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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