NATO chief on Trump win: US leadership ‘as important as ever’

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg congratulated Donald Trump on his victory Wednesday while reminding the president-elect that “U.S. leadership is as important as ever.”

“I congratulate Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States,” Stoltenberg said in a statement early Wednesday. “And I look forward to working with President-elect Trump.

{mosads}“We face a challenging new security environment, including hybrid warfare, cyber attacks, the threat of terrorism. U.S. leadership is as important as ever,” he added.

Trump rattled NATO members throughout the campaign with talk about the alliance being “obsolete” and saying that allies need to pay their fair share before the U.S. would come to their defense.

Trump’s favorable comments about Russia also unsettled members of the alliance, which was originally aimed at deterring the Soviet Union.

Trump also attempted to take credit for NATO’s announcement this summer that it was creating an intelligence chief position to help the fight against terrorism. NATO officials have said the position was in the works long before Trump’s comments.

In his statement Wednesday, Stoltenberg said NATO “has brought together America’s closest friends in times of peace and of conflict for almost 70 years.”

“A strong NATO is good for the United States, and good for Europe,” he added.

Stoltenberg also said that while NATO has responded to new security issues with “determination,” there’s more work to do.

“I look forward to meeting Mr. Trump soon,” Stoltenberg concluded, “and welcoming him to Brussels for the NATO Summit next year to discuss the way forward.”

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