North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies should double their defense spending goals
12 July, 2018, 14:33 | Author: Myra Gill
Following the summit in Brussels, Trump is set to spend three days in the United Kingdom before travelling to Helsinki for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We should first get to 2%", North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do - turning a leaf on years of defence budget cuts.
Referring to the 97-2 vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate affirming its support for NATO, Kerry called on Republican lawmakers to call Trump on his actions. The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. "There is no break-up between USA and Europe", the source said after Macron & Trump held "friendly" talks. Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the United States president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods.
The allies also expressed concern about Iran's intensified missile tests and said the alliance was committed "to permanently ensuring that Iran's nuclear programme remains peaceful".
TRUMP: "Because of me, they've raised about $40 billion over the a year ago." - remarks about NATO-member spending on defense at breakfast with Stoltenberg.
Trump has set a bombastic tone for the talks, unleashing a barrage of criticism against European allies, including a clash with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.
Allies were aware of Trump's grievances ahead of the summit, but he specifically rattled Germany ahead of his full day of meetings in Brussels when he called them out over the controversial $12 billion proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany and suggested it puts the entire historic alliance in question.
In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.
Alluding to Trump's comments about Germany, Kerry also said that "European energy security is an important topic for allies to discuss, even when they disagree".
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reminded him that the US and Europe are "stronger together than apart" and that has been proven by two World Wars and the alliance's dealings with Russian Federation.
'All President Trump is doing is pointing out of hard facts and the hard truth and saying hey look we are going to change this.
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 US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked. "My mother's family, for example, was divided by the building of the Wall", she said in remarks upon receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.
Trump has several times assailed Germany for not spending a large enough proportion of its gross domestic product on defense.
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