Published: Tue, December 03, 2019

Trump relishes in casting France's Macron as new bad boy of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Trump relishes in casting France's Macron as new bad boy of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

As prime ministers and presidents of the 29-member alliance converged on London to mark NATO's 70th birthday, Trump told reporters Macron's comments were "very, very nasty" when he lamented the "brain death" of the organization due in large part to a lack of USA leadership.

In London at a bilateral meeting alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump reacted to Macron telling The Economist magazine in early November that recent USA troop actions in Syria are contributing to the "brain death" of the NATO military alliance.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 29 lashed out at Macron, saying the French leader should have his "own brain-death checked" and accusing him of "a sick and shallow understanding" of terrorism.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, talks about the developments.

As they answered questions from reporters, the chasm between Trump and Macron was most apparent as they discussed their concerns over Turkey's plan to purchase an anti-aircraft system from Russian Federation. "They were very supportive actually".

Trump has gone from labeling the agreement "obsolete" and earlier this year privately mulling a us withdrawal from the alliance, to outright praising the 29-country alliance. "We want nothing to do with it", he said. "When you have a whole bunch of people who went to the same school, have the same backgrounds, are the same gender, or the same-you're going to get the same kinds of answers", said Trudeau.

There is speculation Johnson wants to avoid appearing too close to a United States president who is deeply unpopular in Britain, with protests planned in central London on Tuesday evening.

Mr Trump told reporters in London he was looking at imposing sanctions on Ankara over the issue. We have a lot of power with respect to trade.


But the war of words about the state of the alliance obscures the crosscurrents that Trump himself faces in the U.S., particularly as the impeachment enquiry launched by the Democrats gathers steam.

But Johnson rejects the claim, saying last week that if Washington tried to include the NHS in trade talks, "we'd walk away".

"It's a very unsafe statement for them to make", Trump said.

"We're working on the USMCA", said Trump, adding that it's up to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring up the trilateral agreement for a vote, a vote Trump said would pass.

"When I look at Turkey, they now are fighting against those who fought with us shoulder to shoulder against [IS]. if we just have discussions about what we pay and we don't have clear discussions about such a situation, we are not serious". Canada has pledged to do so "in tandem" with the United States. "When you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to 28 - including them - 28 countries".

Although not directly addressing Macron's comments, Trudeau said that "NATO has survived for seventy years because we've always had frank, real conversations". Trump did nonetheless say the alliance was important.

"I like Turkey and I get along very well with the President".

However, in 2014 - before Trump was elected - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to move "toward" spending two per cent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024.

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