President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about a number of issues Sunday evening, including NATO defense spending, the recent violence in Ukraine, Russia policy, and counterterrorism efforts. The two leaders “reconfirmed the importance of the Alliance in troubled times,” and Trump indicated he would attend the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels in May, according to a NATO readout.
Also on Sunday, Stoltenberg announced a new NATO training effort to support coalition counterterrorism efforts in Iraq. The program will focus on preparing Iraqi soldiers to respond to IEDs, and will train about 30 enlisted soldiers over a five-week period. ”NATO’s training and capacity building in Iraq is strengthening the country’s ability to fight ISIL and provide for its own security,” Stoltenberg said, according to a NATO release. In coordination with the training, NATO will also provide protective equipment for IED disposal.