US Secretary Blinken will attend NATO meeting in Brussels

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Brussels next week to meet with NATO foreign ministers and European Union officials, the US Department of State said on Friday as the Biden administration seeks to repair transatlantic ties.

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At the NATO meeting, Blinken will join other foreign ministers to discuss proposed changes to the transatlantic organization as well as concerns over China and Russia, climate change, cyber and energy security and other issues, the department said.

Blinken will also meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, and efforts to strengthen democracy, it said.

“The meetings in Brussels reaffirm the US’ commitment to our Allies and European partners on our shared agenda,” the department said in a statement.

The trip comes weeks into Democratic US President Joe Biden’s administration and follows four years of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward the alliance.

Trump repeatedly accused the European members of the military alliance of not spending enough on their own defense.

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