“Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing”, he said.
Merkel said: “We had a very intense summit”.
The Nato leaders, gathered in Brussels, held an unplanned emergency meeting earlier on Thursday after Mr Trump told allies to immediately increase their defence spending, diplomatic sources said. He said he would “probably” be able to have the USA leave the mutual defense organization with no Congress approval, but insisted that after his perceived diplomatic success the Alliance would be “a very, very powerful, very, very strong” organization that America would be perfectly fine to stay in.
“Because of me they’ve raised about $40 billion over the a year ago. I don’t. I’m very consistent”, Trump said.
“President Trump created for the second day a crisis on [NATO] spending”.
“The communique is clear: it reaffirms the commitment to two per cent (of GDP)”, said Macron, who was photographed smiling and sharing a hug with Trump yesterday despite recent tensions between the two.
“(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.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials and diplomats will try to promote an image of unity at the summit in the face of growing unease about the threat from Russian Federation, but with the row between Merkel and Trump and the new spending demand mean it may prove hard to paper over the cracks.
Republican senators who recently returned from Moscow have some advice for President Donald Trump ahead of his meeting Monday in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin: Be prepared, be careful and try not to be alone.
Speaking at a media conference after two days of talks, Mr Trump said the US’s allies had committed to raising their commitment beyond 2 per cent.
The Bulgarian President, formerly the commander of the Air Force before being elected head of state on a ticket backed by the opposition socialists, used Trump’s statements to take a sideswipe at Bulgaria’scentre-right government, saying that Bulgaria was “reluctant” to allocate funds to the armed forces.
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 U.S. on trade and needed to immediately boost spending. “It’s really extraordinary that Donald Trump has to be the person to point out that the emperor in Europe has no clothes”.
Merkel, facing domestic political opposition to pushing defence spending up from 1.2 percent of GDP, said she explained to Trump how much was already being done.
Trump said the USA has not been treated fairly under all his predecessors, but now it was. “Germany is contributing troops as a lead nation in Lithuania and NATO’s forward presence to the east”, she said. Just a few years ago we were cutting our defense budgets.
Trump also told reporters that he plans to ask Putin about the 2016 Russian election meddling during their meeting, which will include a one-on-one discussion between the two leaders.
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 USA election.
He added: “If the EU do not offer the United States a better deal on trade, the United States will do something about European cars being imported at a very low tariff”.
She said: “I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union”. And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views.
“That was on Barack Obama’s watch, that was not on Trump’s watch”, he said.