"US Not Treated Fairly But I believe In NATO", Says Trump

Donald Trump

Trump has berated members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were attacked. The officials said Trump threatened to "do his own thing".

"We are paying for far too much of Nato", Trump said.

"Well, what you have is, you have the Germans holding hands under the table with them while we're supposed to be disciplining them and trying to get a handle on it", he said.

Asked about Trump's suggestion, Stoltenberg said he'll focus on what's been agreed to. There was a great collegial spirit in that room. Very unified, very strong.

Sources close to the talks told DW's Teri Schultz that Trump demanded European NATO members meet the alliance target immediately, rather than increase spending gradually as agreed to at a previous NATO summit in 2014.

He did not immediately say what those commitments consisted of.

"Germany is a captive of Russian Federation", said Trump, citing the fact that Germany relies on Russian Federation for its energy supply.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism. "They're going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before", Trump said in Brussels.

He said the increase would happen in "a very short number of years".

The verbal attack comes just days before he meets Russian president Vladimir Putin. White House officials announced that Mr. Trump would give an unscheduled news conference on Thursday in Brussels amid the tumult over his demands for increased spending.

The president has been highly critical of the alliance, complaining the USA pays more than others. And he continued beating that drum in a pair of tweets he fired off Thursday morning from the Brussels residence where he stayed, before arriving at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters for meetings. "That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany".

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told NPR on Wednesday that Trump makes a fair point that Germany should spend more but is not the first USA president to urge that.

"All NATO Nations must meet their 2per cent commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4per cent!"

Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump for all members to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

"Many countries are not paying what they should", Trump said, seated across from a visibly rattled Stoltenberg. That summit turned into a fiasco when Trump took aim at the summit's host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, soon after he departed the meeting.

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