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US President Joe Biden spoke out strongly in favor of European security at a NATO summit on Monday and described the collective defense clause of the alliance as a “sacred obligation”.
“NATO is vital to US interests in and of itself. If there weren’t any, we’d have to invent one, ”said Biden on his first trip abroad as US President at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
“I just want all of Europe to know that the United States is there,” Biden said shortly before he and Stoltenberg met with other NATO leaders for a meeting of the Alliance’s North Atlantic Council.
Biden’s full support for NATO and European security was in stark contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump, whose criticism of the alliance made many members wonder if they could rely on the US.
“We regard Article 5 as a sacred obligation,” said Biden, referring to NATO’s collective defense pact.
Biden named Russia and China as challenges for the alliance.
He also addressed defense spending among allies, often denounced by Trump, who complained that other NATO members were not investing enough in their military. But Biden’s tone of voice was very different: he said some members had already achieved their goals and “others are on their way.”