North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump hails alliance spending promises after crisis meeting

14 July, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Carlos George
  • World Leaders Meet For NATO Summit In Brussels

The US leader has specifically singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

Frustrated by the lack of "burden-sharing", Trump has time and again threatened to leave the alliance if others fail to step up contributions.

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today", he said.

He claimed in a press conference that "Yesterday I let allies know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening".

Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called USA commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".

"We are not going to finance it for them but we will make sure that they are able to get payments and various other things so they can buy - because the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything". They're happy to do it.

In response to a question about the atmosphere during the working session and whether European leaders feel blackmailed by the US, Radev said the atmosphere in the hall was not "one of the most pleasant". Thousands of people are expected to protest against his visit across the UK.

During Trump's meeting with Putin, McCain said, the president "must reverse his disturbing tendency to show America's adversaries the deference & esteem that should be reserved for our allies".

"They agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly", he said, though he did not name countries or give a timeline or figure. "I'm a very stable genius".

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Macron, however, disputed the remarks in a news conference and said there were no such arrangements. He suggested an accelerated timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip".

"The commitment was at two percent and that'll be going up quite a bit higher than that", he said.

Allied NATO defense spending has actually increased on average 3.1 percent since 2014. "It confirms the goal of two percent by 2024. It was the same wording as a year ago", the official said.

"President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO", Macron told reporters.

However, a formal summit declaration issued by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders Wednesday reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment" to the two percent pledge set in 2014 and made no reference to any effort to get to four percent.

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments. Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more, he added.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when US taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

Mr Trump has long complained that European countries do not spend enough on their own defence, leaving the U.S. to shoulder an unfair burden for protecting the continent.

He continued the attack Thursday, complaining that "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

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