Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to meet spending commitments

12 July, 2018, 16:14 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Trump attends a NATO Summit at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit in Brussels

A raucous and divisive North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit concluded Thursday with all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states agreeing that there still is a common commitment to the military alliance after US President Donald Trump said everyone had committed to push up defense budgets.

Trump's surprise demand came after he clashed with Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling Germany a "captive" of Russian Federation because of its gas links and singling out Berlin for failing to pay its way.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were also 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 wrote in a second tweet, continuing a line of attack he opened Wednesday against Germany over its reliance on a gas pipeline from Russia: "On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia". Because of me, they've raised about $40bn over the past year.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev confirmed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years.

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

Tweeting after a day of meetings on Wednesday, Mr Trump called on member nations to immediately boost spending.

He continued that attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".


Referring to her own past living in the now defunct East Germany, Ms Merkel added: "I personally experienced how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop past year".

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

"We call upon [North Korea] to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related programmes", the statement said. That report is backed up by the Washington Post, but both newspapers say those in the meeting were unsure exactly what the threat meant-a U.S. pullout or maybe a lesser American role?

On both matters, Republican senators said they agreed with Trump's message.

Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

"NATO is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences and different views and all sorts of disagreements", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

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