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Trump Says U.S. Allies Agree to Raise NATO Defense Spending

12 July 2018

It would also include "the activities of each such allied nation to contribute to military or stability operations in which the Armed Forces of the United States are a participant; any limitations placed by any such allied nation on the use of such contributions; and any actions undertaken by the United States or by other countries to minimize such limitations".

At the contentious two-day summit that wrapped up Thursday, Trump intensified accusations that other nations in the 29-member alliance were not paying their fair share on defense.

Addressing a question about his consistency - and whether he might have less glowing comments about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on his Twitter account, Trump said, "No, that's other people that do that, I don't".

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Trump as saying "I'll do my own thing" if spending is not immediately increased.

"The fact is that we have a commitment to increase defense spending".

Trump claimed a personal victory at the summit after telling European allies to increase spending or lose Washington's support. "This has gone on for many presidents, but no other president brought it up like I bring it up".

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Referring to her own past living in the now defunct East Germany, Ms Merkel added: "I personally experienced how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union". His approach has fueled concern among his critics at home and overseas that he is intent on deconstructing the postwar order and replacing it with an "America First" breed of transactional diplomacy.

"People are saying, 'He's picking on Germany.' Well, he was", Inhofe said with a chuckle, criticizing the German government for "not even trying to" meet a pledge to devote more to NATO's coffers. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more.

"And frankly maybe everyone is going to have a good relationship with Russian Federation".

And while the president has said he ultimately wants to up commitments doubled to 4 percent, for now he said that countries have agreed to move at a "faster clip" to meet the 2 percent threshold.

In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.

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

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Trump also said he is "not happy about Crimea", referring to the fact Russian Federation annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. But at the bilateral meeting he exulted: "We have a very, very good relationship with the Chancellor".

The president has been highly critical of the alliance, complaining the USA pays more than others.

Trump's condemnation of Germany also highlighted his determination to turn the tables on his critics, at a distance if not in person.

"Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they're delinquent as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

Asked about his trip to the UK, Trump said he was not concerned about protests because "they like me a lot there", suggesting the Brexit vote had come about because "they agree with me on immigration". Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, grimaced.

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Trump Says U.S. Allies Agree to Raise NATO Defense Spending