NATO chief welcomes Trump's new Afghan strategy

UNITED NATIONS (AP) NATO's secretary-general is welcoming President Donald Trump's new strategy for the 16-year Afghan war and says the U.S. leader's insistence that NATO members increase their defense spending is garnering positive results.

Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual meeting of world leaders that after many years of decline, "we have now seen for the first time since the end of the Cold War a real increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada."

Trump last month unveiled his new Afghan strategy saying American troops would "fight to win" by attacking enemies, "crushing" al-Qaida, and preventing terrorist attacks against Americans.

Stoltenberg welcomed Trump's announcement of increased troop levels and his decision that their presence is not going to be based on specific timetables but on conditions on the ground.

On other issues, he said Turkey is looking into the possibility of buying air defense systems from France and Italy in addition to the one it recently purchased from Russia. And Stoltenberg said he is going to Japan and South Korea next month to discuss escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

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