North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding

Friday, 13 Jul, 2018

He claimed in a press conference that "Yesterday I let allies know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening".

Asked about pressures on countries with weaker finances, he said, "We have many wealthy countries with us today but we have some that aren't so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment, and could I help them out, and we will help them out a little bit", he told a news conference.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product.

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump attend the evening reception and dinner at the 2018 NATO Summit.

"They have substantially upped their commitment and now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, " Trump told reporters shortly before leaving Brussels for London to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth. I think it would be salutary for the alliance.

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.

When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the US stance of supporting Poland.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending. Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".

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. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany.

On Thursday, Trump reiterated his criticism of NATO in a tweet, stating, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

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. The important thing now is that we need to invest more - we need to get more money. So we are helping some of those countries get online and buy the best equipment, ' Trump said. "I'm very consistent", he replied.