Special message to President Trump, from Portugal

With the world today anticipating the inaugural address of the 45th president of the United States, Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa sent out a special message to Donald Trump.

Visiting Lisbon’s naval base at Alfeite, he said: “I hope all NATO partners stay committed to this alliance”.

National media interpreted this as an indirect challenge to the incoming POTUS whose tweets on NATO being obsolete have ruffled multiple feathers.

The issue centres, according to Trump, on what he calls the “very unfair” cost to the US of paying into NATO and the fact that in spite of this it hasn’t “taken care of terror”.

But Marcelo sees NATO another way. It is “very important”, he said today, Portugal is committed to staying within it – and the United States is a “vital partner”.

The president was in Alfeite for a very different kind of inauguration – that of a tactical simulator for use by the Navy in all kinds of situations (submarines, sea vessels, helicopters).

The equipment “will allow for tactical training” on land for operations that habitually have to take place at sea, thus contributing to “reducing associated costs”, explains Diário de Notícias.

Meantime, on the world stage, focus now will be on whether President Trump maintains the 3000 US soldiers, 80 tanks and hundreds of armoured vehicles deployed to Poland by his predecessor only last week, to reassure NATO allies concerned about a more aggressive Russia.

[email protected]