Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Trump gears up for meeting with "competitor" Putin after rocky North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Russell Knight | 13 July, 2018, 10:12

Trump said he had been "extremely unhappy" with allies' low levels of defense spending before the summit, but was pleased "they have substantially upped their commitment" during a "fantastic" unscheduled crisis meeting on Thursday morning. "And yet, he came into the news conference and declared victory", Bays said.

People present said he had earlier warned he would "go it alone" if allies, notably Germany, did not make vast increases in their defence budgets for next year.

Another 31 percent of respondents said that they believe that Putin will emerge from the summit with a "better deal", while 24 percent predicted that Trump will see a better outcome.

"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.

Speaking after a two-day summit in Brussels, he said allies had committed to spending more than 2% of their annual output (GDP) on defence budgets.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called an emergency session of all 29 allies to address Trump's demands, and the USA leader said his hectoring had paid off.

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

As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic - as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House.

"We are doing numbers like they've never done before or ever seen before", Trump said, at the close of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels. The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

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After a tense first day, Trump didn't ease up on the second.

Trump has said next week's meeting with Putin "may be the easiest" part of his European tour.

Trump spent 28 hours in Brussels. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

He added that Trump makes a fair point in warning that Germany relies too heavily on Russian Federation for energy, recalling that Putin has used his control of gas supplies as a weapon against Ukraine. "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025".

Trump emerged declaring his continued commitment to a Western alliance built on US military might that has stood up to Moscow since World War Two.

"Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more", he added.

While in Latvia Trudeau did announce Canada would stay in the Baltic nation for four more years, until 2023 and boost its number of troops to 540 from the current 455. "NATO", he added, "is much stronger now than it was two days ago".

Instead, a series of events a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

"The question [on] all sides is not just a tactical one, that is, how to resolve a disagreement, but a strategic one", says Stephen Sestanovich, a senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views.

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