Trump scolds allies for 'not paying their fair share'

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 27, 2017

He also congratulated Macron for his "incredible campaign" and "tremendous victory" as the two world leaders met for the first time over lunch at the US embassy in Brussels on Thursday, Politico reported.

Last year, only five of the 28 countries met the 2 percent goal: the U.S., Greece, Britain, Estonia and Poland.

"This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States", Trump said.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel took a subtle jab at the now famous remark, saying "our common values are not obsolete" during a ceremony where he "handed over" the territory of NATO's new building from Belgium to the alliance before the meeting started. Some nations, though, have failed to meet that threshold.

Russian political analyst Vladimir Bychkov suggested that in the current configuration of the alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will keep continue transmitting messages and orders sent by the U.S., the leader of the bloc.

"Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats", Trump said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg displayed a chart showing how the burden sharing has improved.

Allies who had hoped to hear Trump publicly declare his commitment to Nato's Article 5 collective defence guarantee were left disappointed as he made no mention of it and instead castigated them on their home turf.

Even if a decision is not forthcoming, European leaders have signalled they will push Trump hard on the Paris emissions deal.

The US side meanwhile "expressed concern that jobs in the US would be lost because of Brexit", an European Union source said. This came in contrast to other speakers throughout the day.

European Council President Donald Tusk has said he and US President Donald Trump have not seen common ground on climate, trade or Russian Federation in their first meeting.

"In marked contrast to the United States president, Europe must defend the importance of conflict prevention, diplomacy and human rights, instead of spending ever more on upgrading military capacity". First and foremost, on counter-terrorism, and I am sure that I do not have to explain why.

Those issues "remained open", Tusk said, though an EU official said the sides agreed to set up an EU-US task force on trade. The other leaders are divided over his spending demands, as well as over how much intelligence to share with Trump's troubled administration.

The Times has been the frequent target of attacks by Trump, who has called the newspaper "fake news" and "failing".

Trump said the bombing of a pop concert in the British city of Manchester on Monday, claimed by the Islamic State group, showed that "terrorism must be stopped in its tracks".

Trump is expected to decide later if the USA will stay in the Paris Agreement on climate change and has been soft on Russia's aggression in Ukraine in past remarks. Cohn had suggested on Thursday that Trump might consider such a move.

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