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Trump's defence chief James Mattis warns NATO members to increase spending if they want support from US
"No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values," Mattis said.

On his first visit to Europe, as the US Defence Secretary, James Maitis, has told the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that it needs to increase military spending or else the United States might decide to pull out from the organisation.

Speaking during a meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Mattis said, "America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to the alliance, each of your capitals needs to show its support for our common defense."

"Americans cannot care more for your children's future security than you do," Mattis added. He also called for "milestone dates" this year that would track the contributions made by NATO members.

However, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg denied that Mattis's words were a threat and instead termed them as a "firm message". He also said that the members agreed that they would do more to contribute.

"Secretary Mattis conveyed a very firm message to all Allies. That message is about the importance of fair burden-sharing. It reflects a political reality in the United States," Stoltenberg told a press conference.

Stoltenberg also said that while Trump has strongly expressed his commitment to NATO, but at the same time he agrees with Trump that the members need to increase the spending.

CNBC quoted Stoltenberg saying "In my two phone calls with President Trump defense spending has been a main topic and he has strongly expressed his strong commitment to NATO, to the transatlantic bond but at the same time President Trump has in both the phone calls also underlined the importance of a fairer burden sharing. And I agree with him."

As of now, of the 28 members of NATO, only the United States, Britain, Estonia, Greece and Poland have met or surpassed the two per cent figure.

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