President-elect Donald Trump is "strongly" committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), despite calling it obsolete, the institution's secretary general told CNBC on Thursday.
"I am absolutely certain that the new president and the new administration will be strongly committed to a strong NATO," Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum.
"I had a phone call with him after he was elected. That was a very good conversation and he reconfirmed the strong commitment of the United States to NATO, to the transatlantic bond, and this is something which is not only words, but is also deeds, because we see that the U.S. is now increasing its presence in Europe with a new brigade, and this has a strong bipartisan support in the U.S.," Stoltenberg added.
President-elect's remarks were not well received in Europe. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, told the media that several EU and NATO foreign ministers expressed "no easing of tensions" with the U.S.
Trump has explained that NATO has not been successful in "taking care of terror", adding that European countries need to increase their defense contributions.
"President-elect Trump is focused on the importance of Europeans paying more, I totally agree with him," Stoltenberg told CNBC.
Data from NATO showed that only five members surpassed or made their recommended 2 percent contribution to NATO's budget.
"There's a long way to go but after many years of declining the defense spending across Canada and Europe at least we've seen that the trend has shifted," Stoltenberg said.
The Norwegian official said he is looking forward to pushing that further with President-elect Trump.