July, 22 2014 11:00:00

Obama seeks increased NATO spending, 'trans-Atlantic solidarity'

WASHINGTON —  President Barack Obama and his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski spoke about "the importance of raising defense spending" by NATO's European members, the White House said, in a statement calling for "trans-Atlantic solidarity".

The Monday statement followed talks in which the two leaders discussed the downing last week of an Malaysia Air jetliner by Russian backed rebels in Ukraine.

"This afternoon, President Obama spoke with Polish President Komorowski to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales," the statement said.

"President Obama and President Komorowski agreed on the importance of raising defense spending among European members of NATO, as well as on the importance of alliance-wide and credible contributions to NATO's reassurance efforts in Central and Eastern Europe," it continued.

"The two leaders also stressed the need for trans-Atlantic solidarity in responding to the tragic shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Russia's efforts to destabilize Ukraine."

The White House statement came one day before Tuesday's meeting in Warsaw of the leaders of nine NATO members from Central and Eastern Europe. — AFP

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