President Donald Trump on Monday called for “openness, and a willingness to have honest dialogue” at a summit of NATO allies in Brussels that has been dominated by tensions over Russia.
The White House said in a statement that Trump “remains committed to working with our allies to enhance peace and stability in Europe and beyond.”
“We will continue to make it our goal to maintain and strengthen our alliance,” Trump said in the statement.
Trump’s remarks came a day after NATO leaders unanimously agreed to boost military spending and boost military exercises with the alliance amid heightened tensions over Russian aggression in the Baltic region and Ukraine.
The meeting also marked the start of an annual gathering of world leaders in Brussels for NATO leaders to discuss issues such as terrorism and migration.
Trump, who has clashed with the European Union on numerous occasions, has often accused the alliance of not doing enough to confront Russia and accused it of not being “open” enough.
In a tweet on Sunday, Trump said NATO “will never be the same without our leaders.”
“NATO will never be THE same without your leaders.
We will never get it done,” he tweeted.
The president’s tweet came as the summit began on Monday.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was “committed to deepening our cooperation in a range of areas, including in the fight against terrorism, in cyber security, the fight for peace and security, and for the preservation of our democracies.”
Stoltev said the leaders “shared the shared desire to deepen our cooperation and strengthen NATO’s collective defence.”
Trump has repeatedly called NATO “obsolete” and accused its members of failing to meet obligations they signed up to in Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
He has also called the alliance “obstructionist” and “a burden on the United States.”
Trump and the leaders did not discuss any future U.S. military deployments to the alliance.
NATO is a sprawling military alliance with more than 200 members and is headquartered in Brussels.
It was founded in 1949 to defend the Atlantic Treaty Organization against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.