Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Poland: Trump's tough talk on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation good for eastern flank

Poland: Trump's tough talk on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation good for eastern flank

With tensions in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance smoldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel, his comments fueled concerns about the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War Two, Reuters noted.

Still, by the time it was over he was ebullient, saying that European allies and Canada had "really stepped up their commitment" - and intimating that his relentless hectoring had forced other allies to spend more than NATO's long-term goal of 2 percent of GDP on defense.

"For years presidents have been coming to these meetings and have talked about the tremendous expense to the United States, and tremendous progress has been made", Mr Trump said.

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday".

That would represent a massive upheaval of budgetary priorities in Europe where Germany and many others have pledged only to reach 2 percent by 2024 or later, the report noted.

Pledges to spend 2 percent of national income on defence by 2024 must be met by January, he said - a dizzying idea for many countries which now spend just half that.

He accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of being beholden to Moscow due to energy imports, while letting Americans pay for protecting Germany from Russian Federation.

The issue dominated the president's public remarks after he arrived in Brussels on Tuesday, striking fear among European officials that the president would question the US' role in the alliance. He also reportedly said that if the accelerated target - which was originally agreed for 2024 - is not honored the United States would "do our own thing", sources told the New York Times and Washington Post. But he added that the talks had ended on good terms: "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly". "And you'll be seeing that and I guess you'll be hearing that a little bit later". President Trump "didn't set a timetable, but he was very clear that other countries needed to step up and fulfill their obligations", Sanders told ABC News.

"The American president has demanded, what has been discussed for months, that the burden-sharing has to change".

Beyond that, he said, there's little anyone outside the US can do to rein in the president's behaviour. Trump will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II before heading to Scotland on the four-day visit.

"All allies are increasing defense spending".

"The numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. and they're going to be going up further", he said. The president came to Brussels with a clear goal in mind: to get fellow alliance members to spend more.

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before. "I made the point for Germany that we know we have to do more. We have been extremely tough on Russian Federation", he said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr Trump fuelled a fire by appearing to criticise prime minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, after the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and her minister in charge of the European Union exit, David Davis. But Mr Trump seemed satisfied they had agreed to meet the target soon. I mean, it's one of those things.

It would be "impossible" for Trump to unilaterally pull out of NATO, Ben Hodges, a retired USA lieutenant general who led the NATO Allied Land Command, told The House.

Like this: