North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding

Donald Trump says the US commitment to NATO remains 'very strong'

"I think 4 percent is the right number". "He is representing Russian Federation, I am representing the United States", he added.

Trump left Brussels shortly after speaking to reporters and boarded Air Force One for the trip to London, where he will attend a state dinner Thursday night.

"I told people that I would be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially, because the United States has been paying a tremendous amount", Trump said. "What they're doing is spending at a much faster clip". "It was a very intense day".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders held an unplanned emergency meeting at a Brussels summit Thursday after Trump told allies to immediately increase their defense spending, diplomatic sources said.

The President singled out Germany for particular criticism over low spending, accusing the nation of being a "captive" of Russian Federation because of a multibillion-dollar pipeline deal.

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. "It has been really fantastic to see the level of spirit in that room". I think they agree with me on immigration.

Allied NATO defense spending has actually increased on average 3.1 percent since 2014.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product.

Mr Trump said he would be discussing the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, as well as allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Just a few hours before he was due to leave for Britain, Mr Trump had more to say apparently - and he said it. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he is concerned that the President's "ad-hoc" style of going into meetings and "winging it" is not appropriate and that the meeting should be called off with Putin.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a press conference after their meeting at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, Britain July 13, 2018. "There is a communique that was published yesterday". The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030.

It was a classic Trump performance - bluster, confrontation and demands followed by a unilateral declaration of victory - but his claim was quickly dismissed by the leaders of Italy and France, who disputed they had made any new pledges for increasing spending.

Trump: "They really stepped up their commitment ... stepped it up an additional 33 billion ... " The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out USA allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

Trump reportedly went into the summit urging other members to bump that up to 4 percent. I don't. I'm very consistent. Of the alliance, he said it was "very unified, very strong, no problem". I mean, it's one of those things.

The interview was so surprising, Trump's press officer Sarah Sanders issued a statement overnight Thursday to clarify the president's attitude toward May. He noted that he had met with Trump the evening before and they discussed increasing the US troop presence in Poland. That would be an interesting argument if Trump didn't have his own very public bromance with Russia's Vladimir Putin. "He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the Prime Minister here in the U.K".

Trump's trip to Britain will test the bonds of the U.S. and U.K.'s special relationship. On Thursday, Trump said he wasn't troubled by the planned protests.

"Everybody in the room thanked me", he said.

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