NATO chief, Mattis discuss military budgets, terrorism

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford greets Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on Jan. 21, 2017. ALEX BRANDON/AP
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford greets Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on Jan. 21, 2017. ALEX BRANDON/AP

NATO chief, Mattis discuss military budgets, terrorism

by: Associated Press | .
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published: January 25, 2017

BRUSSELS — NATO's chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's office said Tuesday that the two men "agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America."

In a phone call, they looked forward "to working together to strengthen the alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism."

Trump has said that NATO is "obsolete." He has upset allies by suggesting he might refuse to defend those not spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on military budgets.

Mattis was sworn in Friday. He will meet his NATO counterparts and Stoltenberg on Feb. 15-16 in Brussels.