Saturday, 23 February, 2019


After Trump's spending demands, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit turns to Afghanistan

A file image of Gavin Williamson and Jim Mattis READ MORE:NATO allies defend military spending
Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 04:26

Berlin has given political support to the building of a new, $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea called Nord Stream 2, despite qualms among other European Union states. "That's not necessarily true for most of the European members of the alliance".

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump said, contending the European country gets up to 70 percent of its energy from the Russian pipeline. The United States spends heavily to defend Germany from Russian Federation, he said, while Germany is paying "billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

Based on the think-tank's own assessment, Canada ranks fourth overall in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in terms of total commitment when you include troop levels on deployments to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation missions, aid to support security operations overseas and the willingness of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to accept refugees from conflict zones, among other benchmarks.

On "America's Newsroom", former USA ambassador to the United Nations and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said meeting with Putin is the right move for Trump.

The US president was similarly effusive when he met German chancellor Angela Merkel. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany". "So we're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation, but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Belgium Tuesday for the summit, ahead of meetings later this week with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain and Vladimir Putin in Finland.

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table.

Asked about Mr Trump's suggestion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would focus on what has been agreed to.

'You tell me if that's appropriate because I think it's not.

Trump used Germany as an example.

At the same time, despite his criticism of the pipeline and its links to Russia, Trump has been noncommittal in recent comments about whether he might lift USA sanctions on Russia, and told reporters he'd "have to see" whether the US might recognize Crimea to be part of Russia.

"Canadian prime ministers have always been careful to keep a distance from their American counterparts. but the bottom line is you do have to look at dollars because dollars do talk".

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also took issue with Trump, saying "I don't agree with that". "Well, they could increase it immediately - tomorrow - and have no problem", he said of Germany.

But the USA president did not stop his criticism of Germany there.

The president received a lot of attention and criticism today when he started the summit with America's allies in Brussels by attacking Germany in the middle of a photo-op.

How did leaders respond to Trump's tirade? 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.

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