Trump claims win after threatening to quit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation during tumultuous summit

14 Juillet, 2018, 01:32 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • NATO leaders family

"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", Trump said, adding that, in response, European countries agreed to up their spending.

After raising the threat of the USA leaving NATO, Trump said Thursday that there are no problems, adding that America's allies had pledged to increase defense spending commitments "very substantially".

Trump may not count that as a contribution to the GDP goal, Hodges said - but that just shows that spending isn't the only yardstick for measuring the alliance's success.

Macron told reporters that the communique signed by members "is clear - it reaffirms a commitment to 2 percent in 2024".

He had thrown the summit into crisis by demanding countries meet a spending target of 2 per cent of gross domestic product immediately, instead of by 2024, and to eventually double spending to 4 per cent.

Trump had kicked off the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at breakfast with the organization's leader on Wednesday by accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" and "captive to Russia" because of a pipeline deal that would bring gas directly between the two nations.

Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were attacked.

The issue dominated the president's public remarks after he arrived in Brussels on Tuesday, striking fear among European officials that the president would question the US' role in the alliance. "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly".

"I'm sorry, they're for White House staff", they were told as they tried to grab vacant seats at the front.

"The American president has demanded, what has been discussed for months, that the burden-sharing has to change".

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Trump arrived late for the first meeting of the day, a session meant to voice support for Ukraine and Georgia, both of which are battling Russian-backed separatists.

Trump has described the spending situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

"The numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. and they're going to be going up further", he said.

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 defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

Trump said the allies "made a tremendous amount of progress" and "they really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before".

"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"The president has been consistent that he wants to see people spending more on defence in their countries and we are very pleased that we are doing exactly that".

Trump told The Sun newspaper on Thursday - in an interview that was published as he was feted by May at an opulent welcome dinner at a country palace - that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including a giant balloon that was being flown over Parliament on Friday depicting him as an angry diaper-wearing baby.

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