Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to meet spending commitments

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post in northern Iraq on Feb. 20 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Ryan Remiorz

"It has been really incredible to see the level of spirit in that room".

Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the USA president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods. "After we're at 2 percent, we'll start talking about going higher".

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.

The unexpected demand from Trump during a closed-door meeting of heads of state laid down a new, virtually unachievable marker for a peacetime military spending in an alliance already struggling to meet current defense spending commitments.

"Trump said things plainly, as it normal between friends and allies".

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As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic - as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House. "He does not see the value, and does not recognize that the USA also benefits from it". He laid into Germany for not spending more on its military while becoming increasingly dependent on Russian Federation for its energy needs.

"President Trump created for the second day a crisis on [NATO] spending".

Ahead of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump called the Russian president a "competitor" when asked if he considered Putin a friend or a foe. Following that, he will travel to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is struggling to keep her government from splintering. And the president's declaration was also directly contradicted by one of his closest personal allies, French President Emanuel Macron.

Mr Trump said he told counterparts on Wednesday that he was "extremely unhappy" with the lack of progress being made towards meeting the alliance target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

Asked about his trip to the UK, Trump said he was not concerned about protests because "they like me a lot there", suggesting the Brexit vote had come about because "they agree with me on immigration". "I don't know that is what they voted for". Energy exports represent Russia's main source of revenue, and Trump argues that the pipeline undermines NATO's goal, as it's created to counter Russian aggression.

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The first is that member states spend 2 percent of their annual gross domestic product on the military.

The populist core of his coalition is fueled in part by anger over what his supporters consider unfair treatment of the United States on matters of trade, immigration, and global affairs.

"The information included in this report would be instrumental in informing Congress' oversight of our own military and defense spending and would help educate lawmakers on the return on investment we receive in exchange for our involvement in global alliances".

"Ultimately, the more important metrics are always, 'Are countries stepping up consistently with the capacities that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation needs?" That turning point has always been initiated.

Instead, a series of events a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump. "I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic".

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He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

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