US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday reaffirmed “strong commitments” to the European Union (EU) in a bid to allay the bloc’s doubts on the new administration’s stance towards it.
“Today is my privilege to be on behalf of President (Donald) Trump, to express strong commitments of the United States to continue cooperation and partnership with the EU,” Pence said at a joint press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk after their meeting in Brussels.
He stressed that despite differences between the US and the EU, the two sides “share the same heritage, the same values, above all the same purpose to promote peace, prosperity, freedom, and rule of law,” Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier on Monday, Pence met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who in her tweeter hailed the “excellent meeting” as “good basis for our cooperation”.
Pence will meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg later in the day.
Pence is on his diplomatic foray to Brussels, after attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
Pence said on Saturday at the conference that his country would “strongly support NATO” as European members of the military alliance were worried about security uncertainties arising from possible change in US policy.
While seeking to reassure European leaders, Pence also urged NATO members to shoulder their fair share.
“NATO requires your commitment as much as ours,” he added.