Mike Pence hoping to 'deepen' USA relationship with European Union during Brussels talks
Feb 22, 2017, 00:24
Vice President Mike Pence's news conference this morning at NATO headquarters spotlighted one of President Donald Trump's successes: Strengthening NATO members' commitment to pay their fair share to fund the critical North Atlantic Treaty Alliance.
But on Monday Mr Pence, who also met European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said he was at pains to stress the USA commitment to the EU was "steadfast and enduring".
He has suggested the European Union could soon fall apart. He plans to discuss counterterrorism in a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and the fight against Islamic State in meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the adviser said. "Too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced over this time about our relations, and our common security, for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be", he said. The conversation happened the day the Obama administration announced measures against Russian Federation to retaliate for what USA intelligence services say was the Kremlin's efforts to influence November's presidential election. "The world needs the U.S. and Europe to be partners", Mr Juncker said.
"Let me say to this community, the European Community", Pence said, "Your losses at the hands of barbaric terrorists are felt equally in every household, in every heart, in America". Only five of NATO's 28 states reach that benchmark.
Pence also acknowledged that if allies failed to stop defense cuts, gradually increase spending and meet the 2% target within the decade, the U.S.
"But I do know the patience of the American people will not endure forever".
"In the interest of peace and in the interest of innocent human lives, we hope and pray that this cease-fire takes hold", he said. While in Europe, Pence also attended the Munich Security Conference in Germany and met with various foreign leaders, reassuring them that the U.S.
Mr. Pence said he looked forward to greater coordination in dealing with economic matters and fighting terrorism. "I was disappointed to learn that the facts that have been conveyed to me by Gen. Flynn were inaccurate".
Pence arrived at the Melsbroek military airport under police surveillance. President Donald Trump alarmed allies during his campaign for office by breaking with traditional Republican views on the transatlantic relationship. There's been no confirmation from the U.S. State Department or the White House that Mr. Malloch is a candidate.
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