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Trump forces North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to boost defence spending
13 July 2018, 05:29 | Erica Roy
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.
Few had expected smooth sailing at the Brussels summit.
The outdoor arrival ceremony at Blenheim - Trump wore a tuxedo and first lady Melania Trump a butter-yellow, chiffon off-the-shoulder gown - was a grand affair marked by a military band in bearskin hats, hundreds of business leaders in black tie and gorgeous setting sunlight.
During a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly said that if the major allies did not meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target by January 2019, the U.S.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took a more diplomatic approach on the spending row, saying that Trump was having an "impact" while refusing to confirm any increase beyond what was agreed in the statement.
"That's all", said Macron, who also denied talk of Trump threatening to withdraw from the alliance.
The summit's dramatic, chaotic conclusion - complete with the US president suddenly making demands following a formal communique - bore a striking similarity to Trump's departure from last month's G7 meetings in Quebec. I think that's a real possibility, ' he said.
His departure from the US ambassador's residence aboard the presidential helicopter was met by jeers from demonstrators banging pots and pans, and another group of protesters lined roads near the palace.
In a tweet today after a day of meetings, in which he lashed out at allies for insufficient defense spending, Trump calls on member nations to immediately boost spending.
Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called US commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".
Trump said he let countries know during this week's summit that he was "extremely unhappy".
Trump told reporters that allies had agreed to meet defense spending figures faster than previously planned, and said that financial commitments would increase in the future.
But the vehemence of Trump's on-camera breakfast attack on Germany for its backing of a second Nord Stream gas pipeline, and for being "captive" to Russian Federation came as a shock. "Most of those marching on Friday will love the United States, just as I do", Khan said.
To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense.
"Tremendous progress has been made, everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment, they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before", Trump told a press conference before leaving for a visit to Britain.
Nord Stream 2, they argue, will not only deprive land-transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine of billions in annual transit fees, it will also give Russian Federation a way to penalize Eastern European foes without sacrificing lucrative deals further to the west.
"I made clear that we know that we have to do more and that we have been doing so for quite a while".
So far, five countries - the US, UK, Estonia, Greece and Latvia have reached the target.
It's also always been a bugbear for the U.S., which spends more on defence both as a percentage of GDP and in absolute terms than any other member.
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