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Biden praises NATO on alliance anniversary amid Trump threats

President Biden praised the NATO alliance to mark its 75th anniversary Thursday, amid threats from former President Trump to encourage aggression towards “delinquent” members.

Biden called NATO “the greatest military alliance in the history of the world,” adding that for the last 75 years, the “United States and our fellow Allies have chosen to come together to stand up for freedom and push back against aggression.”

The president outlined that the alliance stood united during the Cold War, invoked Article 5, which declares that an attack on one ally is an attack on all, after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and has stood united during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

He also touted Finland and Sweden recently becoming members and argued that now, “NATO is larger, stronger, and more determined than ever before.”

At a February rally, Trump told a story of an unidentified foreign leader questioning his threat not to defend members who do not hit the alliance’s defense spending targets. He said he told them he would “encourage” Russia to do whatever it wishes and recounted saying, “You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent.”

Biden hit Trump for those remarks at the time, saying “everything is transactional” for his 2024 GOP rival.

“Now, like generations before us, we must choose to protect this progress and build on it,” Biden said in the statement Thursday. 

“We must remember that the sacred commitment we make to our Allies — to defend every inch of NATO territory — makes us safer too, and gives the United States a bulwark of security unrivaled by any other nation in the world,” the president continued. “And like our predecessors, we must ask ourselves what can we do — what must we do — to create a more peaceful future.”

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