Trump floats idea of Brazil becoming NATO member

Published March 20, 2019, 7:04 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

President Donald Trump raised the possibility Tuesday that Brazil could become a member of NATO as he hosted far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for security talks at the White House.

Hosting President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House on March 19, 2019, President Donald Trump said relations with Brazil have "never been closer" (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Hosting President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House on March 19, 2019, President Donald Trump said relations with Brazil have “never been closer” (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“I… intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden.

“I have to talk to a lot of people, but maybe a NATO ally, which will greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries.”

Asked earlier as he hosted Bolsonaro in the Oval Office whether Brazil should be granted NATO privileges, Trump replied: “We’re looking at it very strongly. We’re very inclined to do that.”

“The relationship that we have right now with Brazil has never been better,” Trump added. “I think there was a lot of hostility with other presidents. There’s zero hostility with me.

“And we’re going to look at that very, very strongly in terms of whether it’s NATO or something having to do with alliance.”

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which marks 70 years since its founding in April, last month cleared the way for Macedonia to become its 30th member.

Trump has been unstinting in his criticism of NATO’s European members, accusing them of freeloading on the protection offered by the US military while not spending enough on their own armed forces.

Before taking office Trump called NATO “obsolete” and soon after a NATO summit last July summit he questioned whether the US would honor the alliance’s founding principle of mutual defense for newest member Montenegro.

 
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