Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Donald Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defense spending

The French President was spotted cheering on France REUTERS REXThe French President was spotted cheering on France
Jeannette Daniel | 12 July, 2018, 14:33

A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained: 'During the President's remarks today at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4 percent.

"Because of me they've [NATO] raised about $40 billion over the a year ago", the USA leader told journalists standing next to NATO Secretary General. Trump wrote. "The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025", Trump tweeted.

The US president accused Germany of only spending "a little bit over 1 percent" of its economic output on defence compared to the 4.2 percent spent by the US "in actual numbers".

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked.

Trump's railing against a German pipeline deal with Russian Federation, saying it's "Not acceptable!"

Other leaders have also been trickling in, and continue to arrive after Trump. The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the organisation.

More news: 'Germany is totally controlled by Russia': Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

"You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France. But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany.

Trump, interjecting, asked why that was - and Stoltenberg responded it was "because of your leadership and your message".

Stoltenberg said it had been appropriate and understandable for defence spending to fall after the end of the Cold War, but the alliance had now recognised the need to bring it back up, with member countries adding billions to their defence budgets.

Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, echoed Trump's rhetoric, telling Fox Business Network that "Germany is a tremendous problem, both for Europe itself, and for the United States in this sense". "We look forward to the meeting you're going to have with President Putin".

Trump's first day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance was contentious, with Trump demanding nations spend far more on defense and accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" by Russian Federation because of a pipeline project.

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany.

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