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Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to meet spending commitments

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to meet spending commitments

At the end of the first session of a two-day summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aim first was to reach 2 percent, but moments later Trump tweeted that allies were undercutting the U.S. on trade and needed to immediately boost spending.

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

Radev said that, on the other hand, Trump was right, because each country should make a contribution, in a world of growing threats, and build effective capabilities.

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

"It confirms the goal of 2 per cent by 2024". He then stunned allies by telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four per cent.

When asked about Mr Trump's comments, Ms Leyen added: "On the other hand, you should keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents without any question".

Mr Schäuble said: "The US president has a different way of communicating, which is unusual to me, and I do not like it".

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output".

During the press conference, Mr Trump was asked whether he would go on to change his mind and scrap the funding agreement in a tweet.

He said the leaders of the alliance's 29 members met in an extraordinary session on Thursday morning at the request of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The summit came as transatlantic ties are already under strain due to U.S. trade tariffs, along with fears that Trump's summit on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin will pull him further from Nato's orbit.

Trump insisted that he would bring up key subjects including Syria, although he once again failed to rule out recognising Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Trump also had plenty to say when pressed by reporters about his coming Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

"Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

At the meeting this morning, invited leaders from non-NATO countries Afghanistan and Georgia were asked to leave along with most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' retinues of officials, as the heads of state and government of the Western alliance sought to deal with the man whose nation commands much of the budget and forces for Europe's defence. Trump said it could be the easiest meeting of the trip.

"I told them I would be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments substantially".

Trump poured fuel on the Brexit fire just hours before he was due to land there, saying he was not sure that Britons had voted for the Brexit plan presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has triggered a British cabinet rebellion. It is not to be excluded that Trump said something similar over dinner, in a smaller circle.

Notably, former President Barack Obama and his first defense secretary, Robert Gates, also pushed member countries to spend more.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defense budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

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