After Trump's spending demands, Nato summit turns to Afghanistan

After Trump's spending demands, Nato summit turns to Afghanistan

President Donald Trump on Thursday reaffirmed the USA commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation after days of threatening the body, taking full credit for increases in defense spending by member nations.

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop previous year".

"There is value in protecting the president in having a number of Americans in the room when the conversations take place, because just what I saw on the scale of a congressional visit can happen in a presidential visit in which the description of what transpired in the meeting does not fit reality", Moran said.

Sources close to the talks told DW's Teri Schultz that Trump demanded European NATO members meet the alliance target immediately, rather than increase spending gradually as agreed to at a previous NATO summit in 2014.

As the United Kingdom grapples with its own future in the European Union, I hope that President Trump's visit will help to solidify the long friendship between our two great countries.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the Western alliance and neither country is expected to progress in membership talks.

"He is taking a Republican Party, a grassroots party that's spent 60, 70 years leading the war in the Cold War, hating the Russians for all their aggressiveness in the world and taking over the countries on the border and being tyrannical the way they are now and he has those people cheering against Western Europe", he said. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.


"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.

But now, according to media reports, Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ) or to change its pivotal role in the alliance, over the matter.

Though NATO allies have squabbled in the past, Trump seemed to be leaving in his wake not just bruised feelings, but deeper concerns about the future of the Western alliance that has served as a bedrock of the worldwide order. He has also floated the idea of "going it alone" if allies don't comply, something which he has said before but he can't really do without an - unlikely- Congress approval.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as he holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018.

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

Trump said other leaders at the summit have thanked him for meeting with Putin, even as he sought to keep expectations low for what comes out of the meeting.

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