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13 July 2018, 05:30 | Devin Moran
Trump rattles NATO, knocking its value and assailing Germany
As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.
The summit came as transatlantic ties are already under strain due to USA trade tariffs, along with fears that Trump's summit on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin will pull him further from Nato's orbit. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"
President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 12, 2018. Its citizens are yet to approve the country's new name, on which membership hinges, which they will do via a politically loaded referendum.
"I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment and now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very very strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, much stronger than it was two days ago", Trump said in a freewheeling press conference.
Some will say that an unpredictable president such as Donald Trump is the only American leader who could achieve these outcomes - because the fear is real.
"They actually thanked me for meeting with President Putin", he said.
"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", he said.
Trudeau said he did agree to uphold Canada's commitment to the 2014 Wales NATO summit pledge on defence investment, but took pains to point out the declaration technically states NATO allies would merely "aim to move towards" the two per cent guideline within a decade.
It came while defending himself against allegations he was unfit to be USA president following publication of the book, Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House.
The reason is that the 2 percent standard came from a collective defense agreement against a formidable foe (the Soviet Union) that doesn't exist anymore.
And as the leader of the bigger military power in the world they have to continue to work with Donald Trump and try to find a way to keep him happy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied the claims, but had a harder time fending off Trump's criticism that Germany and many other allies were not meeting defense spending targets of 2 percent of GDP.
"What you spend on a military budget doesn't necessarily automatically lead to greater capacity to contribute to NATO's defence", he said.
As Europe's biggest natural gas consumer, Germany relies on Russian Federation for roughly half of its gas imports, which account for 20 percent of its current energy mix, according to London-based Marex Spectron group.
Khan, who has often been a target of Trump's ire, backed the protests but said those who want to cause trouble are not welcome.
But just days out from a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the mercurial United States leader threatened to throw the transatlantic alliance into disarray. "I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was and I don't mean that in a positive way".
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