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Trump Walks Back NATO Threats, Takes 'Total Credit' For Spending Boost
12 July 2018, 10:40 | Devin Moran
Nato members keep wary eye on Trump's mood
Then, in a head-snapping pivot at the end, on Thursday he declared the alliance a "fine-tuned machine" that had acceded to his demands to speed up increases in military spending.
"We had a very intense summit", Merkel told reporters after the session.
However, a formal summit declaration issued by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders Wednesday reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment" to the two percent pledge set in 2014 and made no reference to any effort to get to four percent.
During the summit, Trump reportedly broke diplomatic protocol by calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, saying "Angela, you need to do something about this", a source told Reuters. People are paying money that they never paid before.
"In that we also defend the interests of the United States".
Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa 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.
Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent". "I would think that Putin would be very well prepared, obviously, with answers ... that they've been thinking about for a long time". No, I don't know him very much. That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said flatly that he agreed "no increase in spending" beyond that previously agreed by Rome, which past year spent 1.1 percent on defence and is labouring under heavy debts that severely limit its options.
She said: "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union". The target date to get military spending to 2% is 2024.
As the drama unfolded, a day after Trump launched a virulent public attack on German policy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cleared the room of many officials and the invited leaders of non-members Georgia and Afghanistan so that the other 28 leaders could hold a closed session with the president. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, full champagne flute in hand, came over to greet the first lady, and the two talked for several minutes.
Including that commitment, however, Canada's current defence spending plans are only expected to bring it to 1.4% of GDP by 2024 - well short of the Wales target. But the vehemence of Trump's on-camera breakfast attack on Germany for its backing of a second Nord Stream gas pipeline, and for being "captive" to Russian Federation came as a shock.
Asked what he will discuss with the Russian president, Trump replied: "We will be asking about Syria, I will be asking about meddling, your favourite question".
Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" after his "firm" warnings during the tense two-day meeting in Brussels, during which he singled out Germany for special criticism.
Stoltenberg said: "We had a very frank and open discussion".
USA unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs
Beijing has vowed to "fight back as usual" after Donald Trump's tit-for-tat trade war with China escalated once again last night. The U.S. has long criticized China, accusing it of unfair trade practices and appropriating intellectual property.
Wimbledon 2018: Kerber, Serena set to reprise 2016 showdown
Kerber did not dictate much, content to let 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko determine the outcome of almost every point. A jubilant Williams celebrated with relish as she closed out victory with a break of serve to love on the Goerges delivery.
Britain's Prince Harry, his wife visit Ireland
She went on to critique the fit - particularly cutting words, coming from a couture designer - suggesting her dress was too loose. During their short trip to Ireland , Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had a packed itinerary, including a trip to Croke Park.
Stenhouse wins another stage at Daytona
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson starts fourth in the No. 48 Chevrolet, giving Hendrick three of the top four spots. I'll take the credit for my team, and we'll go to Talladega, and we'll wreck everybody that throws a bad block like that".