Emmanuel Macron rubbishes Donald Trump's increased North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending claim

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit, when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump to speed up defense spending.

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to significantly boost their defence budgets and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the US was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the USA remains faithful to the accord. "This has been going on for decades, for decades, it's disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

Some NATO allies had not exactly heard the same conclusions as Trump around the table, and French President Emmanuel Macron immediately poured cold water on Trump's spending ambitions for other allies.

Mr. Trump had opened the first day of talks on July 11 with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, criticising its reliance on Russian gas imports and failure to spend more on defence.

"A clear message from President Trump is having an impact".

The gestalt of "the West" - the postwar community of institutions and liberal values that bound, primarily, Europe and North America - was already hobbling when Donald Trump took office as US President a year and a half ago. And the United States is being treated much more fairly.

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

Trump called it "a fantastic meeting", speaking at a news conference Thursday before flying to Britain. I think they agree with me on immigration.

Around eight members of the 29-country alliance are expected to reach the 2% target this year. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

Officials at the meeting said Mr. Trump shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, telling her: "Angela, you need to do something about this".

But Trump's belligerent statesmanship, together with the actions of his soulmate, Russian President Vladimir Putin, could well lame it forever.

Merkel told reporters there followed a discussion with assurances to Trump that spending was increasing - something he later acknowledged was happening at an unprecedented rate.

She said Trump raised the topic of better burden-sharing and more spending by Germany, "as has been discussed for months", and that "we made clear that we're on the way".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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