NATO will hold its next summit in Brussels in 2018, the alliance said Thursday just weeks after US President Donald Trump berated leaders at this year's meeting for not spending enough on defence.
"I expect the 2018 summit will take place here in Brussels next summer," Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after a defence ministers meeting at NATO headquarters.
He gave no specific date but when asked if it could be July, the former Norwegian premier joked that in Norway, "July is counted as summer."
"It is a good candidate but we have not fixed the date. We are working on the date and the formal decision" remains to be taken, he added.
NATO normally holds a full formal summit every two years -- Chicago in 2012, Wales 2014, Warsaw 2016. But leaders decided to hold an extra, stripped-version in May 2017 in Brussels to mark the formal handover of the US-led alliance's new high-tech headquarters.
But rather than a show of unity, there was a distinct uneasiness among the other leaders last month as President Trump dominated the meeting, bluntly telling the 28 allies to spend more on defence to ease the burden on Washington.
He also pointedly refused to make an unequivocal public commitment to NATO's core Article 5 "all for one, one for all" security guarantee, casting fresh doubt on the key US defence commitment to Europe.
European leaders, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in turn suggested Europe might now have to look to its own security.
Washington set up NATO in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union and the organisation is credited with keeping the peace in Europe through the Cold War.
Stoltenberg's announcement came amid speculation that another summit might be held in 2019 in Washington to mark the alliance's 70th anniversary.