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POTUS, FLOTUS Leave for NATO Leaders Meeting in London

President Trump and the First Lady travel to London for a two-day visit to partake in the NATO Leaders Meeting, which will happen this week.

The president and the First Lady are expected to arrive in London around 10:00 p.m. local time, and will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen, on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the leaders from the NATO countries are expected to meet near Watford to discuss defense spending, cyber security, and terrorism among other issues.

The White House announced the visit in a statement last month saying, “President Trump looks forward to meeting with the other NATO Heads of State and government to review the Alliance’s unprecedented progress on burden-sharing, including adding more than $100 billion in new defense spending since 2016.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a meeting between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Trump, in which Stoltenberg praised the American role within the defense alliance.

During the meeting at the White House, Stoltenberg mentioned he hopes to continue the momentum surrounding the pact’s increased defense spending, in an effort to reach the partnership’s 2% standard.

President Trump has made it key objective in his presidency to entice
his NATO counterparts to spend their fair share within the defense partnership.

Although only six countries, not including the United States, met the 2% funding threshold required by the treaty in 2018, nearly all of the nations have heightened defense spending since President Trump took office.

Some reports suggest President Trump has made it clear he would consider leaving the bloc if the other members do not step up to the plate.

Nearly all nations within the alliance have increased how much funding they allocate to the alliance since the president rewrote the precedent abroad.

Twenty-seven of the 29 nations have increased defense spending between 2016 and 2018.

Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania all reached the 2% threshold in 2018, and at least 16 of the member nations are projected to reach the 2% goal by 2024.