Trump frustrated with stalemate in Afghanistan

US to review Afghanistan strategy after discouraging year

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

Earlier on Thursday, the USA president posted a series of messages on social media, hammering United States allies during the second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.

Islamabad, however, denies the charge, with several Pakistani officials as well the Army irked at the Trump administration's request to "do more".

We'll have more on President Trump, NATO, Russia and the protests in the United Kingdom after headlines.

Microsoft's Surface Go tablet ready to do battle with iPad
You'll have to pay extra for the keyboard, as you also will for the Surface Pen , neither of which come bundled with the tablet. The same goes for a high-end 256GB version of the tablet, too, although everything else is available for pre-order now.

Trump said he and Merkel also talked about the pipeline project that he railed about during a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, but would not comment on what they discussed.

Trump emerged declaring his continued commitment to a Western alliance built on US military might that has stood up to Moscow since World War Two.

Officials said Trump has shown signs of frustration over the lack of progress since he unveiled a strategy last August that committed to an open-ended deployment of USA military advisers, trainers, and special forces and increased air support for Afghan security forces.

Trump reportedly singled out Germany, Spain and Belgium "to reach two percent spending target" within a short deadline, two sources told Reuters news agency. "The alliance can rely on the U.K.to lead by example".

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People present said he had earlier warned he would "go it alone" if allies, notably Germany, did not make vast increases in their defence budgets for next year.

"They've made tremendous success and congratulate you", Trump said as he sat across from Merkel. The failure of many allies to release a plan to achieve the two percent goal has drawn the fury of the president, even as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders acknowledge they need to be more aggressive in modernizing their military capabilities. "It's very detailed", Macron said, according to the AP. Macron said France, which previous year spent 1.8 percent on defence, would meet the target by the 2024 deadline.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

"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.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members keep wary eye on Trump's mood
Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before". Trump's next stop will be London, where he'll be meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Sen. John McCain issued a stern warning Thursday to President Trump in advance of his summit with Vladimir Putin, saying that it would be "a serious indictment" of Trump's leadership if he does not hold the Russian leader accountable on a range of actions.

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