Trump’s claim that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will boost defence spending disputed

13 Juillet, 2018, 00:47 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US to review Afghanistan strategy after discouraging year

Officials said Trump has shown signs of frustration over the lack of progress since he unveiled a strategy last August that committed to an open-ended deployment of USA military advisers, trainers and special forces and increased air support for Afghan security forces.

"We had a fantastic meeting at the end".

Islamabad, however, denies the charge, with several Pakistani officials as well the Army irked at the Trump administration's request to "do more".

"Tremendous progress has been made", Mr Trump said, speaking at Nato's new headquarters in Brussels as the chaotic meeting drew to a close.

PHOTO: President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 12, 2018.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg opened proceedings in Brussels with a clear message: This year's summit would focus on who's paying the bill, or in NATO terms, burden-sharing.

"I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump told Stoltenberg earlier Wednesday.

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Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, shot back that she had "experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union, and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good".

Trump reportedly singled out Germany, Spain and Belgium "to reach two percent spending target" within a short deadline, two sources told Reuters news agency. "The Alliance can rely on the United Kingdom to lead by example". "And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".

According to diplomats, he plunged the summit into chaos on Thursday by saying that the U.S. would "go it alone", if European states failed to boost their spending to at least 2% by January.

Stoltenberg said: "We had a very frank and open discussion". Trump said Germany was "captive" to Russian Federation, citing an energy pipeline, and used the summit to repeat calls for allies to increase their defense spending. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more.

"But Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump added.

With scorching language, Trump questioned the necessity of the alliance that formed a bulwark against Soviet aggression, tweeting after a day of contentious meetings: "What good is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if Germany is paying Russian Federation billions of dollars for gas and energy?"

Trump would normally first need to win approval in the Senate and to persuade Republican senators that the move was necessary and in the US's long-term security interests.

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