Trump 'pleased' with NATO burden sharing moves

May 18, 2017

President Donald Trump is "pleased" with NATO members vowing more money for collective security, a senior administration official said Wednesday, but he will not rule out withdrawal from the pact if promises go unfulfilled.

"Right now the president is pleased with what he's seeing. He's seeing them react positively," an official told AFP ahead of Trump's first foreign trip as president, which includes a stop in Brussels to meet with leaders of other NATO member states.

"But if nothing happens, or it happens too slowly, we'll be watching," the official added.

The comments come after a Trump aide suggested that Trump may pull out of NATO entirely, if, as he sees it, European and other allies do not pay their way.

Trump "is not going to stay in NATO if NATO doesn't make a lot more progress much quicker," a second senior administration official was quoted as telling a group of foreign reporters earlier Wednesday.

But aides qualified those remarks, saying that was a distant prospect.

"If there is no real commitment and follow-through then the alliance is hollow," one official told AFP.