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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding

US President Donald Trump said he is now "very, very happy" because North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies allegedly pledged to increase defence spending to levels "never seen before", despite reports to the contrary.

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" after his "firm" warnings during the tense two-day meeting in Brussels, during which he singled out Germany for special criticism.

Only the US spends more than 3%, with seven other countries above or near.

"I think he has to expect they're going to deny, deny everything", the South Dakotan said. "It has been really awesome to see the level of spirit in that room". Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment.

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

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called an emergency session of all 29 allies to address Trump's demands, and the U.S. leader said his hectoring had paid off. Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more, he added. And he called alliance members "delinquent" on their contributions to NATO's budget.

The unexpected demand from Trump during a closed-door meeting of heads of state laid down a new, virtually unachievable marker for a peacetime military spending in an alliance already struggling to meet current defense spending commitments. Is he your friend? Hopefully, someday, he'll be a friend.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona wants Trump to tell Putin his invasion and occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine is "illegal" and his activities in Syria are "detrimental". I probably at least partially won an election because of immigration, ' Trump said. "Would I have allowed it to happen?"

Officials at the meeting said Trump had shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Merkel by her first name, telling her: "Angela, you need to do something about this". Let's see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts ...

Trump said he had been "extremely unhappy" with allies' low levels of defense spending before the summit, but was pleased "they have substantially upped their commitment" during a "fantastic" unscheduled crisis meeting on Thursday morning. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

"You know, the 2% was a range, a goal, it wasn't something they were committed to".

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, shot back that she had "experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union, and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good". "They're feeling a lot of pain right now".