Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases

RED BOX | COMMENTJuly 12 2018 12:01am The Times If Trump smashes the crockery at Nato May will have to pick up the pieces Sir Christopher Meyer RED BOX | COMMENTJuly 12 2018 12:01am The Times If Trump smashes the crockery at Nato May will have to pick up the pieces Sir Christopher Meyer
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 20:38

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

Hours later, he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met privately and discussed the pipeline, each reaffirming the partnership between the USA and Germany.

Trump said he let countries know during this week's summit that he was "extremely unhappy".

Trump began his trip here by scolding allies over breakfast Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the summit "very intense", and other leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, played down the extent to which they had pledged to accelerate spending plans as fast as Trump wanted.

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before".

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

Trump heads next to the United Kingdom.

Fox Business' Brittany De Lea contributed to this article.

Others in the room, including the Lithuanian president whose country is among the most nervous of Russian ambitions, denied a suggestion that Trump had threatened to quit the alliance. "I would imagine that President Trump will be well prepared by the National Security Council and all of his people, knowing that dealing with Putin, who will be ultra-prepared, tough, ruthless. not want to give nothing".

The mood was already prickly ahead of the summit, prompting a terse exhortation from the European Union's President Donald Tusk for Trump to "appreciate" his allies and reminding him that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in Helsinki on 16 July for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the U.S. into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were attacked. The German government has been pursuing its Nord Stream 2 project for years, despite criticism from the United States and some Eastern European nations.

Meanwhile, the first day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit also saw allies trying to strengthen the defense bloc, with several decisions made related to improved capacity, and even a formal invitation to Macedonia to join as the newest member of the organization.

During brief remarks to reporters, he mostly praised Trump's approach.

"I don't. I'm very consistent".

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May. "I hope we get along well, I think we'll get along well, but ultimately he's a competitor".

The U.S. Embassy has warned Americans to be careful in London during Trump's visit, recommending that they "exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings that may become violent", "keep a low profile" and "be aware of your surroundings". Germany was one of the "guarantors of the free world", he told reporters in Brussels.