Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

RTX6ANZE

Trump brands Germany a “captive of Russia,” days before he meets Putin

However new figures published Tuesday will do little to satisfy Trump's demands - they show that only seven European NATO countries will reach the two percent target in 2018.

President Donald Trump reiterated the USA commitment to NATO Thursday after a contentious meeting in which he said allies agreed to raise defense spending by $33 billion amid his reported threats to withdraw. That's according to Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive, " Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

Romania will spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, and Iohannis said other members "will try to spend more than 2 percent".

When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the US stance of supporting Poland. Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment.

The French leader said that Trump had not threatened to pull out of the 70-year-old alliance over the defense spending commitments of Washington's European allies, contrary to some media reports.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24%, compared with 3.5% for the US.

"I think we should first get to 2 percent, focus on that now. the good thing is that we are moving to that", NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg told reporters, without speaking directly to Trump's comments.

Montana GOP Sen. Steve Daines suggested that Jon Huntsman, the USA ambassador to Russian Federation, should be highly involved in the discussions.

Trump answered questions on the United States' commitments to the transatlantic alliance, his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, and his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

‘I think they like me a lot in the UK’
Later that day, she will rejoin the President at Windsor Castle where they will meet the Queen and have tea with her. Protests are also planned in Scotland when he travels to play golf at his Trump Turnberry course.

"Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan", Merkel said, adding: "In that we also defend the interests of the United States".

This article was updated as more details emerged.

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output".

Trump has several times assailed Germany for not spending a large enough proportion of its gross domestic product on defense.

Officials said that non-members of the alliance had been asked to leave the room early Thursday and that everyone in the room had been told to leave their phones outside.

Russian Federation and Georgia fought a brief war in 2008, which led to the regions declaring independence.

"And on top of that, they're showing in the future they'll be even closer to Russian Federation because of the pipeline they're putting in", he added.

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