NATO secretary general 'warmly' welcomes Biden as president-elect


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the 2020 election.

"I warmly welcome the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I know Mr. Biden as a strong supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship," Stoltenberg said in a press release.

He emphasized the importance of leadership in the U.S., adding that he looks forward to the Biden-Harris administration to "further the bond between North America and Europe."

"A strong NATO is good for North America and good for Europe. Together, NATO Allies represent almost one billion people, half of the world’s economic might and half of the world’s military might," the release added.

Under President Trump's administration, he has taken heavy aim at the U.S. membership with the NATO alliance, threatening withdrawal and questioning why other nations did not spend more on defense.

In 2018, Trump said the U.S. contributed a disproportionate amount to fund NATO and protect other countries that paid less. However, it is worth noting NATO members do not pay into the alliance; they contribute defense spending in their separate budgets.

Stoltenberg underscored the group's collaborative structure in the statement, saying, "We need this collective strength to deal with the many challenges we face, including a more assertive Russia, international terrorism, cyber and missile threats, and a shift in the global balance of power with the rise of China."

He called for unity among nations and the U.S., adding, "We can only be secure and successful if we face these challenges together."

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