On his recent visit to NATO headquarters in Belgium, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the United States is “eager to continue to lead” the alliance.
“The United States commitment to the collective defense under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty remains ironclad,” declared Secretary Pompeo.At the same time, he urged greater burden sharing by all members, calling for an increase in defense spending by all member countries to 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024. “It’s now up to each Ally to make good on that promise by presenting a credible plan before the summit in July,” urged Secretary Pompeo.
Russia threatens Allies and partners both militarily, as seen through its invasions of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, through an aggressive campaign to undermine western democratic institutions, and the use of military-grade nerve agents in Britain.
As such, the United States has made clear that NATO should not return to business as usual with Russia until Moscow fulfills its commitments under the Minsk agreements, withdraws its forces and support in the Donbas, and returns control of the Crimea peninsula to Ukraine.
Fighting terrorism must be a major focus of NATO. The alliance should work with its partners in North Africa and the Middle East to address conditions and activities that enable terrorism, such as trafficking of weapons, irregular migration, and regional instability.
Secretary Pompeo congratulated South Korea and North Korea on their historic meeting, and the Korean people’s aspirations for peace and prosperity. “Let there be no doubt,” said Secretary Pompeo, “we would not be where we are today without President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign and the work that has been done all around the world to apply pressure to North Korea.”
“Our objective remains unchanged,” declared Secretary Pompeo. “We’re committed to permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Koreans’ weapons of mass destruction programs without delay. Until then, the global maximum pressure campaign will continue.”
“As always, the United States will continue to coordinate closely with [its] allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, on [a] unified response. North Korean promises are good,” said Secretary Pompeo, “but transparent, verifiable action is essential.”