President Donald Trump shakes hands with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo
(UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are expected to hold a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon after a bilateral meeting at the White House.
The two leaders are scheduled to take questions at 4 p.m. in the East Room. Earlier in the day, they’ll hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. Trump will likely address his key concern about the military bloc with Stoltenberg — that he feels some other countries aren’t proportionately funding NATO and that the United States is unfairly shouldering a bigger portion of the cost.
During his address to Congress in February, Trump said he supports the NATO alliance.
“But our partners must meet their financial obligations,” he said. “We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific — to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.”
Stoltenberg’s visit comes one day after Trump signed off Montenegro’s membership to the alliance.
“NATO announced Tuesday that it is preparing to put 40 contracts out to tender in the next 18 to 24 months for the modernization of communications and cyber-defense technology.