Trump reaffirms North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitment day after harsh criticism

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

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.

In a series of tweets from Brussels, Trump said "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

After locking horns over tariffs and trade at the G7 summit in Canada in June, the USA president left the meeting and immediately withdrew his endorsement of the joint communiqué en route to Singapore to meet with dictator Kim Jong Un. Will President Trump stand with Britain in the face of murders in their countries by Russian nerve agents?

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday. It's very detailed", Macron said, according to France 24.

The US president has made clear that he will continue on his drive on defence spending, and is now calling for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries to increase their commitment for defence spending to 4 per cent of gross domestic product, double the previous target. But the couple of times that I've gotten to meet him, we got along well. And he said Canada has promised to reverse a decline in military resources with an eye towards the two per cent target. He said he was "extremely unhappy" with the situation, but that alliance members have upped their commitments to defense spending in response to his complaints.

"We are paying for far too much of Nato", Trump said. Very unified, very strong. "I believe in NATO", Trump told a press conference after a fraught NATO summit in Brussels.

Trump even chose to (jokingly?) reiterate his claim to being a "stable genius".

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

"I know they're having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing, but I will tell you this - at a certain point they're going to call me and they're going to say let's make a deal".

Russia's behavior is another important topic and one that will be most uncomfortable for Trump.

"Everybody in the room thanked me", he said, "There's a great collegial spirit in that room that I don't think they've had in many years".

Trump admitted that the issue came up during his meeting with Merkel.

Trump also told reporters that he plans to ask Putin about the 2016 Russian election meddling during their meeting, which will include a one-on-one discussion between the two leaders.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in Helsinki on 16 July for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the United States into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Trump called Putin a "competitor", adding that "he's not my enemy".

In Saudi Arabia, the officials discussed United States oil sanctions to deny Iran revenue, maintaining a well-stocked oil market to guard against volatility and helping partners find alternatives to Iran oil, the official said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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