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The new White House administration is committed to strong cooperation with the EU and Nato, vice-president Mike Pence has said, allaying fears Donald Trump has taken a dim view on the state of European integration.

Speaking in his first visit to Brussels on Monday, Mike Pence said the US partnership with the EU was “steadfast and enduring”, with the two sides sharing the “same heritage, values, and purpose” to promote freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

“It is the strong commitment of the US to continued cooperation and partnership with the EU” Mr Pence said, following a meeting with EU council president Donald Tusk.

Pointing to recent terror attacks on the continent, Mr Pence highlighted the need for security cooperation between the EU and the US, adding:

Your loss at the hands of barbaric terrorism is felt equally in the households of America. This will require greater coordination and intelligence sharing among EU member states and between the EU and Nato.

Let me assure you, the US is committed to continuing and expanding our collaboration on the collective security of all of our peoples. The safety and security of your union and our people depends on that collaboration.

Mr Pence’s comments come after he made a fierce defence of the Nato security alliance during an impassioned speech at a security conference in Munich yesterday.

The Trump government would also continue to support efforts in Poland and the Batic states through Nato to “continue to hold Russia accountable” for “its efforts to redraw national borders by force”, Mr Pence said.

The new administration was searching for new “common ground with Russia which president Donald Trump believes can be found” he added.

Following the meeting with Mr Pence, Mr Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, described himself as “fanatically devoted” to US and EU cooperation.

“Reports of the death of the West have been greatly exaggerated”, he said, adding that the EU was “counting on the US’s wholehearted and unequivocal support for the idea of a united Europe”.

“The world would be a decidedly worst pace if Europe was not united. Become divided is a prelude to a fall. We will not invent anything better than the European Union.”

Image via Reuters

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