Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Trump tirade sends North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders into crisis session

Trudeau announces new Canada-led training mission in Iraq Canada offers to lead new NATO operation in Iraq
Kenny Thornton | 14 July, 2018, 05:44

During his own news conference Thursday, Trump was asked how he would increase pressure on Canada, Germany and Italy if any of the three failed to meet the two per cent target.

The charges come as Mueller continues to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election.

During a tense summit, the businessman announced his wish that all 29 member nations should increase spending to two per cent immediately, and eventually double that to four per cent of GDP.

Trump said the allies "made a tremendous amount of progress" and "they really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before".

However, Mr Trump's intervention prompted an immediate response, with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members going into an emergency session while the US President held a remarkable press conference where he said: "We are doing numbers like we've never seen before".

Just days before the meeting, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians, alleging Friday they hacked into the Democratic National Committee to undermine the election.

"We have to start thinking about how we create societies that look at different stories as opportunities to learn and grow within your societies, rather than trying to keep the challenges of the world outside of your borders". President Trump has yet to weigh in on his personal Twitter account.

"When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans", he said.

Trump gears up for meeting with "competitor" Putin after rocky North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit
When asked how that conversation might go, Trump said , "He may deny it". "I think he's got what it takes". "And that's fine. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany.

According to the report, "In 2017, the USA accounted for 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP and 71.7 percent of its combined defense expenditure".

But, several sources said, Trump instead reopened in strong terms his demand that other countries greatly speed up their progress toward a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target of spending at least two percent of their GDP on defense, which now has a deadline of 2024 with get-out terms available that can stretch it to 2030.

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.

Donald Trump arrives in the United Kingdom on Thursday for his first visit as president, during which he will meet the Queen and Theresa May and visit Scotland.

May's government is in turmoil over how to exit the European Union following the Brexit vote. Citing the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, he said: "Secretary Stoltenberg gives us total credit, meaning me, I guess, in this case, total credit".

"You know, the two per cent was a range, a goal, it wasn't something they were committed to".

Trudeau portrayed himself as a kind of counterweight to Trump's protectionist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, promoting the idea that Canada remains a refuge for migrants and that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries must not only build military capacity, but also build societies that are "based on values and not identity". "And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".

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