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Trump to host NATO chief as alliance faces strains

Trump to host NATO chief as alliance faces strains
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Washington DC: US President Donald Trump will host NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Washington at a time of severe strain within the Atlantic alliance, the White House announced Saturday. The two leaders will discuss NATO allies' "progress on increasing defense spending and ensuring more equitable burden-sharing," the White House statement said.

Trump has been a frequent critic of alliance members, notably Germany, complaining that many have not met their goal of devoting two percent of economic output to defense spending. Trump and Stoltenberg, who is Norwegian, will also discuss counterterrorism, cyber-security and protecting critical infrastructure.

The Thursday meeting will come a week after NATO came in for cutting criticism from French president Emmanuel Macron, who told The Economist magazine that "what we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO."

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