Trump Says Committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as Allies up Spending

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Its vocation, features, organizational structure and operative strategy have changed.

The Bulgarian President, formerly the commander of the Air Force before being elected head of state on a ticket backed by the opposition socialists, used Trump's statements to take a sideswipe at Bulgaria'scentre-right government, saying that Bulgaria was "reluctant" to allocate funds to the armed forces. Two of her top government officials resigned earlier this week over negotiations on how to manage Brexit, including foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump has called a "friend". So I can't confirm this news. "I think that's very inappropriate".

At the summit, Romania agreed to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan from 700 to 950, something Parliament needs to approve.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained that it was not possible to mobilise funding outside the agreed national budgets.

"So we have a commitment to spend two percent".

Trump threw the summit into turmoil by demanding not only that allies reach their commitment to increase spending to two percent of GDP "immediately" - instead of by 2024 as previously agreed - but also telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four percent.

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans.


Finally, NATO formally invited Macedonia, the small Balkan country that recently resolved a bitter name dispute with neighboring Greece, to begin talks to join the alliance.

Mr Trump said the agreement to bump spending would be worth more than $US33 billion.

At the moment, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members are supposed to spend 2% of GDP on defense-a goal, not a requirement or a membership fee-but only eight of the alliance's 29 members will do so this year. In 2014, only three nations hit the 2 percent target.

Trump is reported to have spoken of "grave consequences" if allies did not meet their 2 percent of GDP defense spending targets, saying that the United States could "go our own way" if his demands were not met.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

And Trump said that's all his doing. It's something President Obama even pushed for, complaining about US allies in an interview with The Atlantic: "Free riders aggravate me".

Duda also told reporters Thursday that the leaders' meetings were confidential and that he was surprised at other leaders who leaked details to the media.


"I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany, and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions - and that's very good".

Speaking in Brussels, he told reporters: "Yesterday, I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment".

After leading allies to believe that the USA might abandon its commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, President Trump reversed course at an impromptu press conference.

Trump has several times assailed Germany for not spending a large enough proportion of its gross domestic product on defence. European diplomats are feeling exhausted and disrespected after the Trump tornado came to town, but at least he hasn't pulled US troops out of Germany.

As a contentious North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels began to wind down on Thursday, President Donald Trump claimed victory over defense spending and reaffirmed USA commitment to the alliance.

Georgia's future membership also will be discussed Thursday as the summit continues. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

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


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