Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump reaffirms North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitment day after harsh criticism

Trump reaffirms North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitment day after harsh criticism

President Donald Trump reiterated the USA commitment to NATO Thursday after a contentious meeting in which he said allies agreed to raise defense spending by $33 billion amid his reported threats to withdraw.

USA ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that Trump would also recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO - Article 5 - which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

Ahead of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump called the Russian president a "competitor" when asked if he considered Putin a friend or a foe.

"We are stronger together than apart", Stoltenberg said. A source close to Macron said Trump had voiced his "personal attachment" to Europe and gave "rather positive and constructive messages" to his allies.

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries.

Later, Mr. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged pleasantries for the cameras during a one-on-one meeting.

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of 4% of gross domestic product was above the United States own spending on defence.


Trump's first day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance was contentious, with Trump demanding nations spend far more on defense and accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" by Russian Federation because of a pipeline project. Trump's suggestion was informal and made in a closed-door session of on Wednesday, but it did little to ease tensions at an already charged meeting. "After the attacks of 9/11, we called on Germany's leadership to fight with us in Afghanistan. So I think that's inappropriate also", Trump claimed.

Trump's remarks come a day after he blasted US allies and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, accusing Germany of being "captive to Russia" in an oil and gas deal and asking "What good is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation? All I can do is say "Did you?' and 'Don't do it again" - but he may deny it".

Trump has now preposterously upped the demand, insisting that every member nation pay 4 percent of its GDP on defense - an amount the US doesn't even live up to.

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump. "No country, not one, is delinquent", said the Fox anchor.

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 U.S. president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is insisting that Georgia will one day join the world's biggest security alliance, despite separatist ambitions in parts of the former Soviet republic.

Funding has averaged about $1 billion annually and Stoltenberg has said he expected that level to be met.

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