U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on his first full day in office assured European allies that the United States continues to have an "unshakable" commitment to NATO.
A Pentagon spokesman said that Mattis spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and British defense chief Michael Fallon on January 23 and addressed concerns raised by frequent statements from U.S. President Donald Trump that he believes the long-standing military alliance is "obsolete."
Mattis "emphasized the United States' unshakable commitment to NATO," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.
In the call with Stoltenberg, "the two leaders discussed the importance of our shared values, and the secretary emphasized that when looking for allies to help defend these values, the United States always starts with Europe," Davis said.
"Both pledged to consult in the months to come and look forward to meeting in person during the NATO Defense Ministerial in February," Davis said.
During his phone call with Fallon, Mattis also "emphasized the United States and the United Kingdom will always enjoy a uniquely close relationship, reflected in our defense ties, which are a bedrock of U.S. security," Davis said.
Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters