Camera Reprezentanţilor din SUA a adoptat marţi o lege în care exprimă sprijinul legislativului american faţă de NATO, la câteva ore după ce diplomatul american cu cel mai înalt rang responsabil cu afacerile europene şi-a anunţat demisia, informează miercuri dpa, citata de Agerpres.
Legea, adoptată cu 357 de voturi pentru, venite atât de la republicani, cât şi de la democraţi, şi doar 22 împotrivă, interzice utilizarea de fonduri pentru retragerea din NATO şi subliniază că politica SUA este de a rămâne membră a Alianţei.
Cu câteva ore înainte de vot, asistentul secretarului de stat al SUA însărcinat cu afacerile europene şi eurasiatice, Wess Mitchell, un susţinător fervent al NATO, îşi anunţase demisia, explicând că doreşte să petreacă mai mult timp cu tânăra sa familie.
Atât votul din Camera Reprezentanţilor, cât şi demisia lui Mitchell survin pe fondul tensiunilor dintre Washington şi liderii europeni legate de angajamentul şi contribuţia SUA la organizaţii cum este şi NATO şi la alianţa transatlantică în general.
Cotidianul New York Times a relatat recent, citând surse guvernamentale federale, că preşedintele american Donald Trump a avansat anul trecut ideea retragerii SUA din NATO. O retragere a Washingtonului ar distruge practic Alianţa veche de 70 de ani, notează dpa.
“Alianţa NATO ocupă un loc central în ce priveşte securitatea Americii şi menţinerea păcii şi stabilităţii în lume”, a subliniat liderul majorităţii din Camera reprezentanţilor, Steny Hoyer, într-o declaraţie înainte de vot.
Iata relatarea Defense News :
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday evening that seeks to bar President Donald Trump from withdrawing from NATO amid renewed concerns over his commitment to the 28-nation military pact.
In a bipartisan 357-22 vote, the Democrat-led lower chamber sent the Senate the NATO Support Act, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to withdraw from the 70-year-old alliance. Twenty-two Republicans voted no, while 28 Republicans and 26 Democrats did not vote.
Beyond asserting Congress’ power of the purse, the bill affirms support for NATO and its mutual defense clause, for Montenegro’s accession, for “robust” U.S. funding for the European Deterrence Initiative and for the goal that each member nation spend at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense by 2024.
The action comes as trans-Atlantic ties have been frayed by disputes over defense spending, trade and America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. After reports Trump floated the idea of a withdrawal last summer, Trump said last week, “We will be with NATO 100 percent, but as I told the countries, you have to step up,” defense spending.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., sponsored the bill with backing from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. At a press conference Tuesday, the lawmakers praised the alliance for its role in ending the Cold War and in supporting U.S.-led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
“What we have to realize is that NATO is not just a transactional relationship.” Panetta said. “Our sole focus can’t just be on who pays what and who gets what. Being a member of NATO is not like being a member of a country club.”
Engel called splintering the NATO alliance one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top goals.
“That’s why its so disturbing, so troubling to see the United States sending mixed signals about the alliance or treating it as a burden,” Engel said.
“This bill reiterates Congress’ commitment to NATO and would prohibit withdrawal from NATO. It sends a clear message to the administration that this branch of government supports the alliance,” Engel said in a floor speech ahead of the vote.
Trump has bashed the alliance over burden sharing, made overtures to Putin and said he believes he has the authority to pull out of NATO if he chooses — even as his administration has worked to support the alliance.
The bill had four Republican cosponsors, including Texas Rep. Will Hurd, who tweeted after the vote, “These recent votes show that there is overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, a coequal branch of government, to value our allies and stand up to our enemies.”