European Union welcomes Mike Pence's assurances of US support
A month after Trump raised eyebrows by renewing his endorsement of Brexit and asking others to follow Britain out of the EU, Pence had told the media that he had come to "the home of the European Union" with a message from the president
United States Vice President Mike Pence on Monday assured the European Union in Brussels that the President Donald Trump and his administrations will develop their cooperation in trade and security and supports the EU as a partner in its own right.
A month after Trump raised eyebrows by renewing his endorsement of Brexit and asking others to follow Britain out of the EU, Pence had told the media that he had come to "the home of the European Union" with a message from the president.
While speaking of a "strong commitment ... to continue cooperation and partnership with the European Union", Pence added: "Whatever our differences, our two continents share the same heritage, the same values and above all, the same purpose of promoting peace and prosperity through freedom, democracy and the rule of law."
However, he had made it clear in later meeting at NATO that U.S. support for the Transatlantic defense alliance had a price though; "Trump," Pence said, "expects real progress" from European governments to increase their military spending closer to a NATO target of 2 per cent of the GDP by the end of the year.
Donald Tusk, the leader of the European Council of EU leaders, told media that Pence had given him very clear cut answers to three questions on Trump's support for: the current system of international law, NATO and "the idea of a united Europe".
"Reports of the death of the West have been greatly exaggerated," Tusk added, by quoting American writer Mark Twain.
After Pence's meeting, EU officials said they were encouraged by the vice president's assurances, including helps in functioning the body even after Brexit and added that they will watch closely to see how far Trump's actions match the words.
"We got everything we were looking for," one official was quoted by Reuters.
Pence also mentioned about the building of common European institutions after World War Two and said: "With this union and in cooperation with the United States, history will attest that when the United States and Europe are peaceful and prosperous, we do advance the peace and prosperity of all the world."