Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trump has no clue how North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding works

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison appears on U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison appears on"Face the Nation"
Glenn Montgomery | 11 July, 2018, 08:00

A senior European Union official lashed out Tuesday at President Donald Trump, lambasting the US leader for his constant criticism of European allies and urging him to remember who is friends are when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.

Trump and May will hold bilateral talks before he meets Queen Elizabeth II, who has met every USA president since 1952 except Lyndon Johnson.

"I have the United Kingdom, which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin", Trump said.

Tusk, a former Polish premier, addressing Trump directly about his meeting with Putin, said, "It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

Still, the administration official said, Trump would likely reiterate USA support for the NATO treaty's Article 5, a provision that means an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all of them.

"I'd like to hear someone say that's a bad idea". "As far as I'm concerned, a competitor".

Trump will not listen to advice, Wilson said. "I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others, is a good thing, not a bad thing".

"While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more", he said as he listed out the percentage of defence spending of other major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

While it's true that only a handful of the 28 member countries now spend 2 percent or more of their GDP on defense, a 2014 agreement gave all of them a decade to get to the 2 percent level. They're also anxious about his potential embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin during a summit in Helsinki.

The 29 allies are due to restate a commitment to try to spend two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, according to excerpts of their final summit declaration seen by AFP.

But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that military spending had been rising in Europe since 2014 and members were making efforts to meet the objective, particularly Germany, which is often singled out by Trump for criticism. He says the United States is shouldering too much of the defense burden for the alliance. The Europeans abhor Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States' partner.

Mr Stoltenberg was careful not to provoke the USA president ahead of a potentially testy meeting. "And dear Europe, spend more on your defense because everyone expects an ally that is well prepared and equipped", he added, noting: "Money is important, but genuine solidarity should be more important". "Not fair to the USA taxpayer", Trump tweeted earlier in the morning, calling the situation "Very Unfair!"

"The UK has itself on a number of occasions urged everybody to work towards meeting that 2% target, which we of course do meet and exceed".

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