North Atlantic Treaty Organisation holds emergency session as Trump presses on spending

Trump NATO Breakfast

Trump said he had a "great meeting" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Wednesday, hours after he fiercely criticised German policy on defence spending and gas imports from Russian Federation.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline", Trump told reporters, calling the alleged dependence on Russian energy "inappropriate".

"I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good, " she said.

He continued: "Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago".

"We think President Trump is basically right, that the foundation of a successful alliance is fair contributions by all parties", said Britain's new foreign minister Jeremy Hunt.

Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the USA now spends.

"And frankly maybe everyone is going to have a good relationship with Russian Federation".

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the United States president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.

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

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today", he said.


Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

"We didn't know what to expect, it was a positive outcome", he said of the dinner in a Brussels park, where leaders were treated to an acrobatic display and saxophone music.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24%, compared with 3.5% for the US.

Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.

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.

European diplomats fear a repeat of last month's divisive G7 in Canada when Trump clashed with his Western allies before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit and praising him as "very talented".

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