Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

Trump lashes out at NATO allies calling for increase in defence spending

Trump lashes out at NATO allies calling for increase in defence spending

Trump wrapped up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels with a press conference where he touted that other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to boost their defense spending commitments.

Following the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was careful not to contradict the president's claim of a substantial increase in spending but was only able to directly point to members' existing 2 percent commitments.

Trump added, "All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said, but added that the talks ended on the best of terms: "It all came together at the end".

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.

"I think it's fine", Trump said when asked about the protests.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel were also singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

'One of the things that we have we have many wealthy countries with us today, but we have some that aren't so wealthy, ' Trump said. The United States, far the biggest economy, spent 3.6 percent previous year, while Germany, the second biggest, paid out just 1.2 percent and only a handful of countries met the 2 percent target.

When pressed to explain Trump's claims he credited the president with a "new sense of urgency" among allies to "redouble our efforts" to increase defence spending, but did not report any new cash or time commitments. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany.

Trump told reporters that allies had agreed to meet defense spending figures faster than previously planned, and said that financial commitments would increase in the future.

Trump has described the spending situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

The summit in Brussels is shaping up as the alliance's most hard in years, against a backdrop of deepening transatlantic tensions in fields ranging from trade to energy and defence. Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent". Germany, Europe's richest country, spends just 1.24% on defense, and it's an unpopular topic there.

"It will be over a relatively short period of years", Trump said.

"On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation. I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".

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