Brussels Prepares To Host the NATO Leaders’ Summit
Brussels Prepares To Host the NATO Leaders’ Summit
Trump takes swipe at Nato just days before crucial summit
13 July, 2018, 07:46
At the end of the first session of a two-day summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aim first was to reach 2 percent, but moments later Trump tweeted that allies were undercutting the United States on trade and needed to immediately up spending.
After a face-to-face meeting with Merkel later, Trump said the gas pipeline came up but seemed to shift his tone.
In other business at the summit, NATO agreed to begin the process of allowing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to join the alliance as its 30th member - but only if the country changing its name to North Macedonia.
Carefully-choreographed sessions and the leaders' dinner in a Brussels museum on Wednesday night are unlikely to mollify Trump, NATO diplomats say, as they found out to their dismay in May past year at a special dinner to welcome the president.
Trump's tweet on Tuesday echoed another one from Monday, in which he singled out Germany for not meeting defense spending targets.
Britain's summer 2016 referendum saw the leave side prevail by a 52-48 margin - a populist victory combined with Trump's surprise victory in the USA presidential race later in the year that sparked upheaval in the global order.
Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the United States to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.
Upon arrival to Brussels, he tweeted: "The European Union makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe (US has a $151 Billion trade deficit), and then they want us to happily defend them through North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and nicely pay for it".
Kiev has continued to enjoy strong bilateral support from the United States, and sanctions imposed against Russian Federation after the Crimea annexation have been strengthened, not, as some feared, lifted.
"So we're supposed to protect Germany, but they're getting their energy from Russian Federation". NATO acknowledges an "over-reliance" on the U.S. What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the U.S. gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened. "They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before", Trump said, adding that "now we're very happy".
"We lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union".
But with tensions in the alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel, his earlier comments fuelled concerns about the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War Two.
"They will spend more", he later predicted.
Trump has harshly criticized May, Merkel and Trudeau since taking office and opened Wednesday with another broadside against Merkel, asserting that her country is "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russia as he objected to a deal to bring Russian natural gas directly to Germany.
"Just look at the chart", Trump said at the breakfast.
He says, "I think Putin may be the easiest of them all".
"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many".
Trump said Germany's closure of coal and nuclear power plants on environmental grounds had increased its dependence, like much of the rest of Europe, on Russian gas.
When it was her turn to address reporters in the room for the meeting with Trump, Merkel made no similar declaration about her relationship with Trump.
"Disparaging long-standing allies at the same time as talking up the country that has wantonly seized territory and redrawn Europe's borders by military force for the first time since World War Two is disconcerting to say the least", said Boudreau.
Hierro had previously said he accepted responsibility for the team's failure to advance any further in the World Cup. Enrique will also be taking over a team shorn of captain Andres Iniesta, who has retired from worldwide football.
In the short term, the bigger question is whether Kavanaugh can secure a majority of Senate votes in order to be confirmed. In most of those cases, Collins supported a judicial nominee picked by a Democratic president whom her colleagues shunned.
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The Taliban did not claim responsibility for the attack, but acknowledged it in a message on its official Telegram channel. The attack took place in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, a statement from the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said.
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