North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump hails alliance spending promises after crisis meeting

Uneasy alliance Transatlantic partners prepare for contentious NATO summit

The new NATO headquarters building

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

Trump arrived about a half-hour late to a North Atlantic Council meeting with Georgia and Ukraine, two countries who have both been invaded by Russian Federation in the last decade.

At the news conference, Trump went on to call North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "a fine-tuned machine", a phrase he has used to describe his often-chaotic administration, and said that "NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago". There won't be any extra money forthcoming from any country, beyond a pledge made years ago that everyone would meet the thus far largely elusive 2% spending level. "We go into that meeting not looking for so much".

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to boost their defense budgets significantly and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the US was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the USA remains faithful to the accord.

"Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation", he tweeted.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday gave Trump an uncharacteristically personal response, reminding him that she knew what captive means, having grown up in Soviet-controlled East Germany.

Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence. Doc seems to agree with our president that the U.S.is getting the short end of the deal by spending significantly more on defense than our allies.

Indeed, Trump came away mollified, broadcasting his own sense of triumph, though he had said the day before that member nations had to reach the 2 percent goal immediately, and that the target should rise to 4 percent. "Indeed, we're increasing it by 70 per cent over the next decade", Trudeau said. He said: "There is a communique that was published yesterday. It's very detailed", Macron said, according to France 24. "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

Mr Trump said the agreement to bump spending would be worth more than $US33 billion.

"We understand your message", the reporter asked. "The additional money they will be putting up has been really incredible".

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today", he said. "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations". As to whether he could unilaterally pull the USA out of the alliance without congressional approval, Trump said, "I think I probably can, but that's not necessary".

FORDHAM: Absolutely. I think that's part of the reason that Trump was light on details and part of the reason that the secretary general in his press conference right now was light on details.

The US President's demands triggered an emergency budget meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

As the United Kingdom grapples with its own future in the European Union, I hope that President Trump's visit will help to solidify the long friendship between our two great countries.

Trump was greeted at the palace by British Prime Minster Theresa May, whose government has been rocked by resignations from ongoing tumult over Brexit, the nation's contentious vote to leave the European Union.

However Washington opposes the project, and a spokesman for the U.S. State Department told Reuters on Wednesday that Western firms invested in the pipeline were at risk of sanctions.

Trump's Marine One departure from the ambassador's residence was met by jeers from demonstrators banging pots and pans, and another pack of protesters lined roads near the palace.

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