The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump that it “could contribute more to regional stability and fight against international terrorism” in the Middle East.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Trump conversed over the phone on Wednesday about the current situation in the Middle East and NATOs role, according to a NATO release.
“The President asked the Secretary General for NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. They agreed that NATO could contribute more to regional stability and the fight against international terrorism. They also agreed to stay in close contact on the issue,” the release states.
The release did not confirm whether NATO is set to take more action, and it is unclear what immediate steps NATO intends to take.
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere confirmed the conversation took place.
“Today, @realDonaldTrump spoke with @NATOs Secretary General @jensstoltenberg. The two leaders discussed the current situation in the Middle East. The President emphasized the value of NATO increasing its role in preventing conflict and preserving peace in the Middle East,” he wrote on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
The phone call comes after Trump earlier on Wednesday said during an address to the nation that he would ask NATO to become more involved in the Middle East.
Just a day prior, Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases where U.S. troops were stationed, in apparent retaliation for the killing of Irans top military commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 2.
During the speech at the White House, Trump referred to Soleimani as “the worlds top terrorist.” Soleimani led the Quds Force, a part of Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the United States designated as a terrorist group in early 2019.
Trump pointed out in his address that no Americans or Iraqis were injured in the latest attack from Iran, and the strikes caused minimal damage. The president also said that he would seek peace with Iran.
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