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Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

14 July 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2018.

Before arriving a half hour late to the final day of meetings on Thursday, Trump tweeted that "the USA pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe", that Germany's oil and gas pipeline with Russian Federation is "not acceptable", and that allies must not only all reach the 2 percent defense spending guideline, but double that to 4 percent.

"Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing, and we're very happy with that", Trump said, without going into specifics.

Trump said he had been "extremely unhappy" with allies' low levels of defense spending before the summit, but was pleased "they have substantially upped their commitment" during a "fantastic" unscheduled crisis meeting on Thursday morning. But he added that the talks had ended on good terms: "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly". "It's been incredible to see the level of spirit in that room".

DONALD Trump sowed chaos in Brussels as he demanded other nations massively increase their spending, triggering an emergency budget meeting.

McCain also sought to reassure North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies who had been rankled by Trump's brusque approach at the two-day summit.

When pressed to explain Trump's claims he credited the president with a "new sense of urgency" among allies to "redouble our efforts" to increase defence spending, but did not report any new cash or time commitments. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany.

Trump said the allies "made a tremendous amount of progress" and "they really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before".

Hours later, after landing in Britain, the assault on diplomatic norms continued.

Trump then held an impromptu press conference.

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After the match Courtois and fellow Belgium star Eden Hazard expressed their disappointment at how France had conducted themselves.

"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route".

President Trump has arrived in the United Kingdom for a much-anticipated visit that is expected to draw large protests.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte also echoed Macron and dismissed Trump's claim about a spending hike.

NATO, a pillar of the global order, emerged from a two-day confrontation with President Donald Trump on Thursday intact but distracted and shaken, a further challenge to the alliance as it faces an expansionist Russian Federation and growing authoritarianism among some of its own members.

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in Brussels that he did not hear any of the European Union countries viewing Nord Stream 2 positively, the report said.

The alliance, which sees an attack on one member as an attack on all, was set up at the height of the Cold War, as a counterbalance to the Warsaw Pact between the Soviets and their satellite states.

"I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try)".

"The clear message from President Trump is having an impact", he said.

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries". And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views. Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!

Trump arrived late for the first meeting of the day, a session meant to voice support for Ukraine and Georgia, both of which are battling Russian-backed separatists.

Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending