NATO leaders vow to improve burden sharing balance

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Brussels, July 12 (IANS) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders “are committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities”, according to a summit declaration published on Wednesday.

“Fair burden sharing underpins the Alliance’s cohesion, solidarity, credibility, and ability to fulfil our Article 3 and Article 5 commitments,” Xinhua quoted the summit declaration as saying.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a news conference following the summit said: “We all agree that we do not have fair burden-sharing in our Alliance today. We all agree that we need more cash in national defense budgets; More modern capabilities; And more contributions to missions and operations. The good news is that we are making progress.”

According to the declaration, all Allies have started to increase the amount they spend on defense in real terms and some two-thirds of Allies have national plans in place to spend 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product(GDP) on defense by 2024.

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“We are committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of Alliance membership,” the declaration added.

US President Donald Trump has long held criticism against US allies across the Atlantic that European members of NATO are not spending enough on defense.

–IANS

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