Canada part of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation communique affirming defence spending target despite PM's remarks

Trump called those commitments a major victory; they were first made in 2014.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States' commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "remains very strong" after a summit in Brussels at which he said allies had made unprecedented commitments to increase spending on their own defense.

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

The president has been highly critical of the alliance, complaining the USA pays more than others. So we are helping some of those countries get online and buy the best equipment, ' Trump said.

The French President said: There is a communique that was published yesterday. "It's very detailed", Macron said, according to France 24.

"(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.

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

"They have substantially upped their commitment and now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, " Trump told reporters shortly before leaving Brussels for London to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth. Of the alliance, he said it was "very unified, very strong, no problem".

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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.

Trump also singled out Germany over its low-levels of defense spending - it now spends 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense - and renewed his criticism of a controversial gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russian Federation made a day earlier. "I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening" and on Thursday he had been "probably a little bit more firm".

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte also disputed Trump's claim at a news conference.

The U.S. intelligence community determined in a report made public early last year that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and concerns about a resurgent Russian Federation have grown in Europe in recent years, especially after Moscow's 2015 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said this is not a formal proposal and that Trump had merely "suggested" this increase. I mean, it's one of those things.

"I think, by and large, that the American people are glad to have a president who will be willing to maybe set aside some of the niceties and actually say what he thinks and defend their interests", Cornyn said.

Before he visits with Putin, Trump will visit London and the United Kingdom - where many large protests are planned against his policies.

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