NATO chief says defense spending to grow in 2017

Zhang Tao

BRUSSELS, June 28 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday announced that defense spending across the alliance is expected to grow in 2017.

NATO European allies and Canada will foresee an annual increase of 4.3 percent on defense expenditure in 2017, Stoltenberg said while briefing media on the agenda of Thursday's defense ministers meeting.

"That is three consecutive years of accelerating defence spending. This means, over the last three years, European Allies and Canada spent almost 46 billion U.S. dollars more on defence," he said.

NATO defense ministers will meet Thursday to take forward decisions on fair burden-sharing and counterterrorism which were made at NATO summit in May.

Stoltenberg noted that the alliance joined the Global Coalition to defeat the Islamic State (IS) last month. "NATO is now fully integrated into the information-sharing and decision-making structures of the coalition," he added.

He will also present a progress report on NATO-EU cooperation to ministers Thursday. This sets out how NATO and the EU are stepping up cooperation on issues ranging from resilience to hybrid threats.


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