Friday, 21 September, 2018


4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending

4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending 4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending
Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 16:29

Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russian Federation, on Wednesday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-FBI lawyer won't attend interview with House lawmakers: attorney Trump officials to release migrants with ankle monitors North Korea state media release photos of Kim at potato farm after Pompeo visit MORE for his comments hammering NATO allies and their contributions at the group's annual summit.

"NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago", Trump told reporters, describing an unscheduled crisis meeting of the 29 alliance leaders on Thursday morning as "fantastic" and having "a great collegial spirit". While it has boosted defense spending the past two years, Germany, like about half the other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, does not plan to reach 2 percent by 2024.

At one point, in a break with diplomatic protocol, a source said Trump addressed German Chancellor Merkel by her first name and told her: "Angela, you need to do something about this".

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions". So we'll see. We're meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday.

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

As US President Donald Trump uses his time in Brussels to lambast European leaders for their various failings, as he sees them, a photograph now making the rounds on Twitter has captured the mood perfectly.

"Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia", Trump wrote.

Amid reports that he had threatened to pull out of the alliance due to the dispute, Mr Trump said the U.S. had a strong commitment.

Mr Trump said the agreement to bump spending would be worth more than $US33 billion.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

"Not acceptable!" he railed before a day of events that will include meetings with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia before he heads to his next stop: the United Kingdom.

"I think once the trend started changing in 2014, that created momentum even before he became president", says American University's Martin.

The president again described Putin as a competitor, declining to characterize the longtime US adversary as an enemy even as he said he hopes one day they might even be friends.

Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.

Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality".

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