NATO chief smiles broadly saying Portugal should “pay more”

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has managed to hail Portugal a “key ally” while at the same time saying we must spend more on defence.

Ahead of a beaming photoshoot, in which he pumped prime minister António Costa’s hand, Stoletenberg said: “We need more investments from many NATO Allies”.

It’s a request echoed by US president Donald Trump who insists other countries should be “pulling their weight” as America does.

NATO member states are supposed to spend 2% of GDP on defence, but very few actually do.

Portugal throttled right back during the crisis years, and only recently upped its defence spending budget.

Last summer, several NATO countries agreed to increase defence spending, but – according to President Trump – “many countries still owe vast sums of money”.

For his visit here last week, Jens Stoltenberg had a whistle-stop round of meetings, visiting various NATO infrastructures, and concluding that “Portugal makes NATO more secure — on land, at sea, in the air and also in cyberspace.”

All in all, it was “an excellent day… where we have had many important discussions”, he concluded, “and where we have addressed how we together, as an alliance, can continue to respond and adapt to a new and more demanding security environment”.

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Photo: https://twitter.com/antoniocostapm