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NATO's chief to meet Obama next month

NATOs chief to meet Obama next month

Washington: US President Barack Obama will meet NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg next month to discuss a range of issues including the progress made to "destroy" Islamic State terror outfit.

Obama will host Stoltenberg at the White House on April 4 and will reaffirm that the US stands together with NATO in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks that struck Brussels, Belgium, the site of NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

"The President looks forward to discussing with Secretary General Stoltenberg the progress Allies are making in the international effort to degrade and destroy ISIL, as well as the important role NATO is playing in alleviating the refugee and migrant crisis spurred in part by the terrorist group," Earnest said.

The meeting gains significance as it also comes days after Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump calling for review of America's association with NATO.

Obama and Stoltenberg will also discuss preparations for the July 8-9 NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, including Allied efforts to reinforce deterrence in Europe, address instability on Europe's periphery, and strengthen NATO's base of capabilities and partnerships, he said.

"The Secretary General's visit underscores the importance the US places on the transatlantic bond that NATO embodies, and on a North Atlantic Alliance whose full adaptation to a changing strategic environment will ensure that the Alliance continues to uphold international order and advance the interests of the US and all of NATO's members and partners," Earnest said.

Six people were being held after raids across the Belgian capital yesterday, days after airport and metro suicide blasts took place that left 31 people dead and 300 injured.

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