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NATO chief calls Chicago ‘perfect place for this NATO summit’

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

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Updated: July 1, 2012 12:52PM

NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen on Sunday praised President Barack Obama’s leadership of NATO and the president’s choice of Chicago for the summit.

Obama rival Mitt Romney wrote a letter to the editor of a Chicago newspaper arguing that Obama has provided weak leadership, not leaning hard enough on European NATO members to meet their funding obligations of the alliance, which the United States heavily subsidizes.

“Mr. President, I would like to thank you very much for your strong leadership, for your dedication to our alliance,” Rasmussen told Obama after a pre-Summit meeting.

“America has always been a source of strength and inspiration in NATO, and I’m very pleased that we can hold our 25th summit in your home city, Chicago,” Rasmussen said. “Chicago has always been a place where Europeans and North Americans have come together.”

Rasmussen continued his Chicago lovefest as he opened the summit hours later.

“Chicago is the perfect place for this NATO summit — Chicago brings many cultures together. It is diverse and dynamic, so Chicago is the perfect place to renew the bonds between Europe and North America,” Rasmussen said.

Nodding toward the United States’ complaints about having to shoulder 75 percent of NATO’s budget, Rasmussen said, “Together we will keep NATO capable of responding to the challenges of tomorrow. More security at lower cost for all citizens.”

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