techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com July 18, 2018


Donald Trump's demand sparks North Atlantic Treaty Organisation panic

13 July 2018, 01:36 | Hattie Nash

"I've taken over a lot of bad hands and I'm fixing each one of them, and I'm fixing them well", Trump said during a hastily called press conference Thursday.

Trump took to Twitter to say publicly what he told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders privately on Wednesday, calling on all allies to meet a commitment agreed in 2014 to spend 2% of economic output on defence to counter threats ranging from Russia's military modernisation to militant attacks on European cities.

Trump said he let countries know during this week's summit that he was "extremely unhappy".

Despite tweeting "what good is NATO" the day before, Trump praised the alliance on Thursday.

Before arriving a half hour late to the final day of meetings on Thursday, Trump tweeted that "the US pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe", that Germany's oil and gas pipeline with Russian Federation is "not acceptable", and that allies must not only all reach the 2 percent defense spending guideline, but double that to 4 percent. This communiqué is clear, it reaffirms a commitment to 2% in 2024.

It remains to be seen whether Trump really meant it about consistency, when it comes to soccer, however.

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He accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of being beholden to Moscow due to energy imports, while letting Americans pay for protecting Germany from Russian Federation.

Speaking at a media conference after two days of talks, Mr Trump said the US's allies had committed to raising their commitment beyond 2 per cent. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".

After an opening day of summit talks marked by clashes between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO leaders had hoped to focus on policy on Ukraine and Afghanistan.

While in Latvia Trudeau did announce Canada would stay in the Baltic nation for four more years, until 2023 and boost its number of troops to 540 from the current 455.

"Prior to previous year, where I attended my last meeting it was going down, the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and down very substantially", he said. "There is no additional spending", he said.

"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.

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"Georgia will become a member of NATO", while sating the 29-nation alliance supports Tbilisi's territorial integrity, including its sovereignty over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Amid reports that he had threatened to pull out of the alliance due to the dispute, Mr Trump said the U.S. had a strong commitment.

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

In an apparent swipe at Trump, he added: "Sometimes the corridors, comments and tweets take on more importance than what is negotiated, said or endorsed by heads of state".

And President Trump drives a bulldozer through the government's central claims about their compromise - that the United Kingdom would be able to get decent trade deals with the wider world, while sticking to the European Union rules. Trump said that leaders responded to his demands by agreeing to reach the 2 percent goal soon. But after 48 hours of overt conflict with allies - and the second global summit in two months where he has sparred openly with European leaders - he said he looked forward to a positive encounter with the Russian president.

FORDHAM: Absolutely. I think that's part of the reason that Trump was light on details and part of the reason that the secretary general in his press conference right now was light on details.

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