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

12 Juillet 2018

He continued: "Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago".

At a news conference recently European Council President Donald Tusk had a warning for Trump over his "almost daily" criticisms of Europe's defense spending."Dear President Trump, America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe", Tusk said.

Currently, all leaders were in a "confused state" because everyone was wondering what the condition for the four per cent meant, and the extent to which Trump was serious, Radev said.

In 2014, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members had pledged to commit two percent of their Gross Domestic Product for defence, with Trump repeatedly having deplored their failure to do so. Two thirds have national plans in place to spend 2% of GDP on defence by 2024.

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!" And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views.

Following Trump's statement, the 29 members met for a separate crisis meeting, and representatives of partner countries Ukraine and Georgia were asked to leave the room.

Trump said he made his anger clear to allies on Wednesday.

Trump acknowledged that some of NATO's poorer members might have trouble meeting the figure, but said the U.S. could "help them out a little bit" with finance, adding that the United States made "by far the best" military equipment. "We reaffirmed a credible budget strategy that meets our needs", Macron told journalists.

Another NATO diplomat said Trump trampled on protocol by pointing at some leaders he said were not spending enough and addressing Merkel by her first name, referring to her as "you, Angela".

"[Russia is] trying to sneak offshore, go through the Baltic Sea, come on shore in Germany, not get caught bribing governments or the European Union to get the pipeline over land", he said.

"NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is sidestepping questions about whether President Donald Trump has asked his allies to double their defence spending ambitions".

Still, European economies have been growing recently, making the 2 per cent of GDP target ever harder to achieve, and Trump's spending demand is at least in part aimed at drumming up business for the USA defence industry.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist East Germany - shot back at Trump.

"The president is going to mention the fact that Europe is becoming more and more dependent on Russian Federation for their energy sources, specifically Germany with their invitation to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline", Barrasso told Fox News.

Trump also said he would bring up allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election when he meets Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week.

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised. I look forward to the meeting. I think they agree with me on immigration.

"That was on Barack Obama's watch, that was not on Trump's watch", he said.

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