By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised NATO on Wednesday while working with the alliance in setting priorities for next month’s leaders summit in London.
“NATO is the most important strategic partnership in recorded history. The United States led the formation of this alliance, and we are returning to our robust leadership today. We are committed to working with our NATO partners to build a strong, stable and prosperous alliance,” Pompeo said at a press conference following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
The top U.S. diplomat expressed concern over the foreign policies of Russia, China and Iran and their value systems, which are “certainly very different from ours, and going in the opposite direction.”
At the same time, he praised the commitment by NATO allies to spend 2% of their GDP on security and to add $100 billion in defense spending by the end of 2020 to modernize their capabilities.
Earlier that day, Pompeo held separate talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
He and Cavusoglu discussed U.S.-Turkey relations with a focus on bilateral and multilateral security and defense issues.
Pompeo discussed the key issues for the leaders meeting with Stoltenberg. They focused on burden-sharing in the military alliance, the fight against terrorism and NATO’s adapting to the challenges of the modern world, including cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and attacks on democracy.
“We had great and serious conversations where we set the conditions for a successful leaders summit,” said Pompeo, reaffirming America’s “ironclad commitment” to NATO and its collective defense principle.
“We have stood with our allies over the last 70 years, and we will continue to stand with them against any and all threats to our transatlantic security,” he added.