Pompeo meets North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief in first trip as U.S. secretary of state

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

"Today, we decommission this chamber", Stoltenberg said.

"As the largest and wealthiest European member state, the example that Germany sets is a very powerful one, and the practical impact that it would have in strengthening European security if it fully lived up to its stated public commitments would be hard to overstate", the senior State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

ROOM 16In one dramatic moment, then NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner, who was dying of bowel cancer, addressed the council room while just out of hospital and still attached to a medical drip, pushing for NATO support of United Nations forces during the break-up of Yugoslavia. That meeting is due to take place on July 11th and 12th in Brussels.

Stoltenberg said Pompeo's presence at the meeting so soon after taking the reins of the State Department was "a great expression of the importance of the alliance and the importance we attach to the alliance".

The quick turnaround, from a swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Thursday afternoon to a breakfast meeting with allies about Russian Federation on Friday, was hailed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg as symbolic proof of Trump's renewed commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the US president once derided as "obsolete".

"We will begin with a meeting to discuss Russian Federation".

Nine have produced realistic plans for reaching it by 2024, but the rest, including Germany, have not.

"I think President Trump made that a priority", Pompeo said of the spending issue. Commenting on a question by Daily Sabah during a press conference at a NATO Defense Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Stoltenberg said he is aware of American threats to impose sanctions on Turkey for purchasing the S-400.

His arrival also appeared to have heartened some US diplomats who had been discouraged by Tillerson's embrace of budget and staffing cuts, and a perceived desire to reduce America's diplomatic footprint.

Pompeo alluded to the change. The NATO chief said they also discussed the situation in Syria.

On his first stop in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Pompeo will meet Saudi King Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

That coordination was started by Tillerson but had languished in the absence of a new secretary of state.

Russian Federation also agreed to provide technological know-how for the production of a new generation of Turkish air defense systems.

Earlier, Stoltenberg said that the plans of the Alliance do not include full isolation of Russian Federation. That coordination was started by Pompeo's predecessor, Rex Tillerson, who was sacked by Trump last month, and had languished in the absence of a new secretary of state.

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