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NATO chief says defense budgets on the rise

BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says European allies and Canada are spending even more than previously thought on defense, days before U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to repeat demands that other allies boost their budgets.

Stoltenberg said Friday that European allies and Canada are now projected to increase spending on their national military budgets by around $130 billion between 2016 and 2020.

Previously, the figure was forecast to be “more than $100 billion.”

At the Dec. 3-4 summit in London, Trump is expected to repeat his demands that Washington’s 28 allies at NATO starting spending at least 2% of Gross Domestic Product on defense.

Stoltenberg said that Bulgaria has now become one of nine allies meeting the 2% guideline.

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