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Trump claims win after threatening to quit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation during tumultuous summit

Trump claims win after threatening to quit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation during tumultuous summit

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: "The commitment was at 2% [GDP], ultimately that will be going quite a bit higher than that."

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

"So we have a commitment to spend two percent".

At the end of the first day, Trump unsettled allies even more by questioning the value of the military alliance, which was formed to counter Soviet aggression during the Cold War.

"I'm sorry, they're for White House staff", they were told as they tried to grab vacant seats at the front.

Multiple sources in the room reached by ABC News did not deny that the president made those comments but said that they were not taken as a threat to pull out of the alliance. He is also scheduled to hold his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.

Trump told the tabloid, Britain's best-selling newspaper, that he would have gone about Brexit in a different way.




Bulgarian President Rumen Radev confirmed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years.

"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.

In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said only about half of the alliance's 29 members are on track to meet the 2024 deadline - which he said would boost spending by $46 billion.

Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the U.S. now spends. But I would also encourage the president to exercise caution with Russian Federation - which has proven to be a hostile nation to the United States and our Western allies. In response, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official said Tbilisi would join the alliance after meeting all of the necessary requirements, stressing that the members of the alliance should first reach a consensus on a Membership Action Plan for the country. Trump wants the spending to go up to 4% of GDP, which is more than even the US now spends on defense.

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions".

Although Trump administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected.

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.


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