May 24, 2017 / 2:43 PM / 2 months ago

Trump to be "really tough" on NATO allies - Tillerson

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will be "really tough" when he meets his NATO allies for the first time in Brussels on Thursday, demanding that they raise their defence spending, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivers remarks to the employees at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2017.Yuri Gripas/Files

Tillerson told journalists onboard the Air Force One that Trump "really wants NATO members to really step up and meet their obligations under burden-sharing."

"I think you can expect the president to be really tough on them," Tillerson said. "That's going to be the core of his message to NATO."

Tillerson added that Trump thought it important for NATO to join an international coalition fighting the Islamic State and that the U.S. president supported the Western military alliance's mutual security guarantees.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel

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