Donald Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defence spending

When Trump Meets Putin The Neophyte And The Black Belt

Before the summit, European Union President Donald Tusk hit back at Trump for his "daily" criticisms of Europe, pointing out that the EU spends more on defense than Russian Federation and nearly as much as China, and telling him to "appreciate your allies". Sitting at the table with the president were Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Trump defended his public reprimanding of allied countries over their defense spending.

"I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic".

"I think we meet with our adversaries".

Despite Trump's pugnacious posture and rhetoric, allies sought to project unity at the conclusion of meetings in Brussels.

Merkel replied by pointing out that Germany is one of the largest contributors of troops for NATO's missions.

Trump later reportedly pressured North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to double the target to 4 percent of GDP and doubled down on his criticisms of both Germany and the 29-country alliance.

As the pair met alongside the main summit, Trump confirmed he had brought up the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany.

"Take a look at the chart", Trump instructed the reporter, explaining the U.S.is owed a mass of money for decades of delinquent allied payments.

Another key takeaway from the first day was President Trump's criticism of Angela Merkel's Germany. And the thing that is really important is that President Trump was nearly projecting what people say about him onto Germany today.

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Mr Trump has been pressing member countries to spend more on defence, accusing them of passing the burden on to the US.

While the United States and Europe have historically been close military and economic allies, President Donald Trump has upended that order by repeatedly taking Europe to task over defense spending and trade while pursuing a closer USA relationship with adversary Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A joint declaration said: "We are committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership". The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

"They have to step it up immediately".

"You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France".

"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.

The alliance as a whole increased defense spending for the first time in two decades in 2015. Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Merkel, when he will reiterate the same tough message to her face, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Trump has not responded to Kerry.

The exchange was part of an uncomfortable day as anxious Western allies were subjected to the USA president's "America first" approach.

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