Trump, first lady Melania Trump to attend Queen Elizabeth's reception during visit for NATO

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are planning to attend the NATO Leaders meeting in London next month, including a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, the White House confirmed Friday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced in February that the military alliance would hold the leaders' summit in London in December, but the White House did not confirm at the time whether Trump would attend.

However, the White House now says the Trumps will travel to the UK from December 2-4 for the NATO meeting, as well as attend Queen Elizabeth II's reception at Buckingham Palace.

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Friday that "President Trump looks forward to meeting with the other NATO Heads of State and government to review the Alliance’s unprecedented progress on burden-sharing, including adding more than $100 billion in new defense spending since 2016."

“The President will also emphasize the need for the NATO Alliance to ensure its readiness for the threats of tomorrow, including those emanating from cyberspace, those affecting our critical infrastructure and telecommunications networks, and those posed by terrorism,” she continued.

The summit confirmation comes a day after the President met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House. 

Trump has been critical of the other NATO member states for not meeting a military spending target and relying on the United States as well as taking credit for other nations who have pledged to increase spending.

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“Seventy years after its founding, NATO remains the most successful Alliance in history, guaranteeing the security, prosperity, and freedom of its members,” the White House said. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, Melania Trump attend Queen Elizabeth's reception during NATO