Trump forces North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to boost defence spending

But now, according to media reports, Trump has threatened to withdraw the USA from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ) or to change its pivotal role in the alliance, over the matter.

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said. "Much stronger than it was two days ago", Trump said in an unscheduled statement.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump jolted the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit Wednesday by turning a spotlight on Germany's ties to Russian Federation and openly questioning the value of the military alliance that has defined American foreign policy for decades.

The Nato leaders, gathered in Brussels, held an unplanned emergency meeting earlier on Thursday after Mr Trump told allies to immediately increase their defence spending, diplomatic sources said. "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations".

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday".

"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied the claims, but had a harder time fending off Trump's criticism that Germany and many other allies were not meeting defense spending targets of 2 percent of GDP.

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


The issue dominated the president's public remarks after he arrived in Brussels on Tuesday, striking fear among European officials that the president would question the US' role in the alliance.

Of the 29-member alliance, only the UK, Poland, Estonia and debt-ridden Greece met the benchmark in 2017.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the United States out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially".

Trump poured fuel on the Brexit fire just hours before he was due to land there, saying he was not sure that Britons had voted for the Brexit plan presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has triggered a British cabinet rebellion.

At the press conference on Thursday, a Croatian reporter dared ask if Trump would change his mind once he leaves Brussels for London.

Woody Johnson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, dismissed the significance of the protests, telling Fox News that one of the reasons the two countries are so close "is because we have the freedoms that we've all fought for".

"A clear message from President Trump is having an impact". "Because I said it was unfair".

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro will lead a high-level team attending the Farnborough Airshow outside London next week to advocate on behalf of USA aerospace and defence companies. "I don't know that is what they voted for". So we are helping some of those countries get online and buy the best equipment, ' Trump said.

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