Trump continues attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations during 2nd day of summit
13 July, 2018, 16:11 | Author: Eric Barnett
Before leaving Brussels, Trump played down the protests but acknowledged that he expected tension in Britain, which also was reeling from its soccer team's defeat in the World Cup semifinals.
As the dust cleared it was not clear what, if any concrete promises he had won.
The U.S. president's shake-up of the NATO summit had begun Wednesday at a working breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, when Trump accused Germany of being controlled by Russian interests.
Trump threw the summit into turmoil by demanding not only that allies reach their commitment to increase spending to two percent of GDP "immediately" - instead of by 2024 as previously agreed - but also telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four percent.
Trump was whisked away to an oasis of warm greetings at a black-tie reception at Blenheim, birthplace of Winston Churchill, the larger-than-life British leader cited by the president as a model of leadership.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2018.
Trump said following an emergency session of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, the military alliance is "very unified, very strong, no problem".
"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday".
However Trump had already taken the credit for an additional rise in spending, saying "for years presidents have been coming and talked about" the plan, but since he became president "we are doing numbers like they've never been done before".
The second day of the defence pact meeting was disrupted and repeatedly rescheduled, as Trump's insistence on renegotiating his allies' defence budgets took precedence over issues such as Ukraine and Georgia's vulnerability to Russian Federation.
Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, reporting from the Belgian capital, however, said that based on interviews with sources, "nothing it seems, in the closed-door meeting, was resolved".
He insisted it had been a "very good" summit because of the frank and open discussion it had hosted.
Since exiting the Iranian nuclear deal, President Trump has demanded that our European allies join the U.S.in reimposing sanctions. ". It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki. I'm a very stable genius", Trump said. "I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening" and on Thursday he had been "probably a little bit more firm".
"For years presidents have been coming to these meetings and have talked about the tremendous expense to the U.S., and tremendous progress has been made", Mr Trump said.
Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.
He interrupted the reporter's question to congratulate Croatia on their FIFA World Cup victory over England on Wednesday, which earned the Balkans country a spot in the finals for the first time in history. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"
The 4 per cent demand was met with "total stunned silence and then utter panic", the Timesreported.
Politico said Trump warned of "grave consequences" if the allies did not immediately meet the 2 per cent spending targets.
Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called USA commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".
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