US, NATO: Defense budget increase “needed” to meet global challenges

WASHINGTON, The US and NATO affirmed late Monday the need to increase the defense budget of the organization to meet challenges and face any consequences from the ongoing war in the Ukraine.

This came in a meeting between US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington DC.

Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder said that Austin and Stoltenberg’s meeting at the Pentagon came to kick off a week of events marking the 75th Anniversary NATO Summit in the US capital.

Secretary Austin underscored the progress NATO has made on strengthening its deterrence and defense and thanked Secretary General Stoltenberg for his leadership of the Alliance during one of the most challenging periods in NATO’s history.

The officials discussed key items on the Summit agenda, including continuing to make progress on implementing NATO’s new family of plans, ensuring enduring support for Ukraine, and strengthening the transatlantic defense industrial base.

The officials also
discussed the need to sustain increased defense spending to fully resource NATO’s plans.

Secretary Austin and Secretary General Stoltenberg reaffirmed their commitment to the Alliance’s work and looked forward to a successful 75th Anniversary Summit.

The NATO summit will be held amid the continuous Israeli occupation aggression on the Gaza Strip, a war that Washington wants to see a ceasefire implemented before more tension arises in the Middle East region.

Source: Kuwait News Agency