Monday, 12 November, 2018

Trump lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies calling for increase in defence spending

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Adrian Cunningham | 12 July, 2018, 14:16

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks to other leaders as they pose for a family photo at the Park of the Cinquantenaire during the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, talks to U.S. President Donald Trump as British Prime Minister Theresa May, right watches at the opening ceremony of the NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

TWITTER DEMAND Leaders had gone into the second day, set to focus mainly on ending the long war in Afghanistan, with low expectations, showing the extent of European frustration with Trump's "America first" policies among the other 28 members of the alliance.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters she's comfortable with the Trump-Putin summit, but that it "depends very much on outcomes".

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

Trump says Germany is "totally controlled" by Russian Federation.

Canceling Joint Exercise with South Korea Saved $14 Million: DoD
And the U.S. -North Korea denuclear dealings will be decoupled from the Sino-U.S. trade fight, according to professor Wang. Meanwhile, Pompeo was meeting with the comparatively junior General Kim Yong Chol. "I have it for him", Trump said.

The tone of their remarks contrasted with an earlier breakfast between Trump and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg, when the Republican president said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor".

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.

'That is why I welcome President Trump's forthcoming meeting with President Putin, open channels of communication between the USA and Russian Federation are key to managing the risks of confrontation'.

It was the most recent in a series of demands and insults that critics fear will undermine the decades-old alliance, coming days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.