Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit continues after delirious first day

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit continues after delirious first day

Trump wound up submitting to something he has eschewed on USA soil: an extensive news conference. Trump said that leaders responded to his demands by agreeing to reach that goal soon.

"I would say there might be an escalation between us and the Iranians".

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product.

Sources familiar with the first round of closed-door talks on Thursday told the Reuters news agency that Mr. Trump carried his firm stance on military spending from Twitter into the meeting rooms.

US President Donald Trump launched a strong verbal attack on Germany on Wednesday (11 July) for its support to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, aimed at bringing more Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Smith criticized Trump for demanding that each nation spend even more than the United States is paying for defense.

"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. In the afternoon, he heads to his next stop: the United Kingdom.

Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, echoed Trump's rhetoric, telling Fox Business Network that "Germany is a tremendous problem, both for Europe itself, and for the United States in this sense".


"They have pledged to spend more", Smith concluded, "they are not freeloaders".

Trump would normally first need to win approval in the Senate and to persuade Republican senators that the move was necessary and in the US's long-term security interests. "On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent [on defense]... and I think that is inappropriate also", Trump said.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels ahead of the two-day summit, Trump complained that Russian Federation enjoyed undue influence over Germany thanks to "inappropriate" oil and gas deals.

He demanded that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025" and then rattled them further by privately suggesting member nations should spend 4 percent of their gross domestic product on defense - a bigger share than even the United States now pays, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation statistics.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who was on the trip, said in an interview that he had particular concerns about the possibility of Russian media entities misreporting the outcome of any one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin. "Now this has been going on for decades, and it's very unfair to our country and to our taxpayer".

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive, " Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

The mood was already prickly ahead of the summit, prompting a terse exhortation from the European Union's President Donald Tusk for Trump to "appreciate" his allies and reminding him that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" - and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well".

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