Tuesday 22 September 2020

Dutch must do more to meet Nato spending targets: US ambassador

The US ambassador to the Netherlands, has told the Volkskrant that new government spending on the Dutch armed forces is still not enough to meet Nato targets.

Nato countries have agreed to spend 2% of GDP on defence by 2024, but even with the extra cash announced on Monday, the Netherlands’ budget will still only be 1.3% by that date, ambassador Pete Hoekstra told the paper.

‘I have been filled in by the defence ministry about their plans and asked what they mean for spending levels in 2024,’ the ambassador told the paper.  While the new investment is ‘real money’, Hoekstra said the real question is ‘why the Netherlands is not prepared to shoulder its share of the Nato budget?’

This means the Netherlands is one of the seven Nato members which spend the least, the ambassador told the paper.

Only Estonia, Greece, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Britain met the 2% goal last year.

US president Donald Trump has questioned Nato’s value to Washington after calling on other member states to boost their spending on defence.

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