Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump forces North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to boost defence spending

Trump forces North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to boost defence spending

President Donald Trump closed out his chaotic two-day visit to NATO Thursday by declaring victory, claiming that member nations caved to his demands to significantly increase defense spending and reaffirming his commitment to the alliance.

"I welcome President Trump's forthcoming meeting with President Putin: open channels of communication between the USA and Russian Federation are key to managing the risks of confrontation", she planned to say, according to the spokesman.

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", an ebullient Trump told reporters afterwards.

"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.

The president during the two days of meetings assailed the 69-year-old partnership's leaders for not paying their fair share of defense funds, complained that the United States fails to get any benefits from protecting Europe, and directly harangued Germany over an energy pipeline deal with Russian Federation.

All NATO countries, including Germany, are committed to raising their military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, a target Trump wants them to meet by next year.

"Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing, and we're very happy with that", Trump said, without going into specifics.

"I believe only one thing: the communique we have approved, the strategy we defend and the seriousness we have, because it is the security of our people we are talking about", he added.

Trump also took to Twitter to say publicly what he had told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders privately on Wednesday, calling on all allies to meet the 2014 commitment. Germany, Europe's richest country, spends just 1.24% on defense, and it's an unpopular topic there. Macron said France, which a year ago spent 1.8 percent on defence, would meet the target by the 2024 deadline.

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

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. Now they are adding billions". Although Trump administration officials point to the longstanding alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, the center of the protests.

"Commitments were made. Only five of 29 countries were making their commitment and that's now changed", Trump said at a press conference before leaving Brussels. That, I can't tell you. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".

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