Trump rattles North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, knocking its value and assailing Germany

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

Following the summit in Brussels, Trump is set to spend three days in the United Kingdom before travelling to Helsinki for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

USA officials told Reuters that the White House is preparing another review of strategy in Afghanistan, just a year after Trump hesitantly extended the involvement in America's longest war.

A White House spokeswoman said his remarks came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defence and were not a formal proposal.

Trump has taken an aggressive tone during the summit, questioning the value of a military alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and proposing a massive increase in European defence spending.

Trump continued the attack through the day after first raising it at a breakfast meeting.

Two officials at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels say the alliance is meeting in an emergency session amid demands from U.S. President Donald Trump for all members to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

Hannity pointed out that Germany is spending billions of dollars on an energy pipeline between them and Russian Federation, and that the country's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is the one leading the business effort.

Throughout the day, leaders were peppered with questions about Trump's behavior and whether or not they agreed with his position on Germany.

But Trump appeared earlier to substantially overstate German reliance on Russian energy and to imply Berlin was funding a pipeline that Chancellor Angela Merkel says is a commercial venture.

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

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor". A source close to Macron said Trump had voiced his "personal attachment" to Europe and gave "rather positive and constructive messages" to his allies.

'Their tariffs on our autos are four times higher in their defense spending is one fourth of what ours is and Germany is the wealthiest country in Europe, spending on defense is much less than most of other countries, ' he said.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev disclosed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years. "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.

The 29 allies are due to restate a commitment to try to spend two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, according to excerpts of their final summit declaration seen by AFP.

"We didn't know what to expect, it was a positive outcome", he said of the dinner in a Brussels park, where leaders were treated to an acrobatic display and saxophone music.

But back in Washington, Trump's handling of the US' NATO allies was not going down well.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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