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

President Donald Trump speaks with British Prime Minister Theresa May during the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday

The Alabama Republican led the delegation, which met with senior Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The meeting with the Russian president will arguably be the most attention-grabbing leg of Trump's European tour.

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel added.

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.

"There is value in protecting the president in having a number of Americans in the room when the conversations take place, because just what I saw on the scale of a congressional visit can happen in a presidential visit in which the description of what transpired in the meeting does not fit reality", Moran said.

"Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia", Trump wrote. "I hope we get along well, I think we'll get along well, but ultimately he's a competitor. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all, who would think?" he said.

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table.


"We're protecting everybody, and yet we're paying a lot of money to protect", Trump said.

Although administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Mr. Trump's itinerary will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Poland's President Andrzej Duda, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, U.S. President Donald Trump, Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a group photo in the park of the Cinquantenaire, during a NATO Summit, in central Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany". "And when you have that occurring, especially with Russia's activities, yeah, it undermines our alliance".

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that talks at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit were measured and respectful, despite critical tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump in the run up to and during the gathering.

Trump has set a bombastic tone for the talks, unleashing a barrage of criticism against European allies, including a clash with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump has demonstrated all of these tendencies before - including suggesting his hands are tied on pressing Putin. At breakfast he had spoken of Germany as a "captive" of Russian Federation because of the two countries' energy relationship, which he labelled "inappropriate". "NATO is not like a club with annual membership fees". Trump said that leaders responded to his demands by agreeing to reach that goal soon.

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