North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit to focus on Afghan conflict on second day

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit to focus on Afghan conflict on second day

In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said only about half of the alliance's 29 members are on track to meet the 2024 deadline - which he said would boost spending by $46 billion. Partners including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker therefore left the discussion.

"What they're doing is spending - at a much faster clip they're going up to the 2 percent level", Trump said.

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" - and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well".

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at US President Donald Trump for taunting Germany as "Russia's captive" for its alleged overdependence on Moscow for energy saying Berlin took its independent decisions, the Kremlin also lashed out at the American president over the same, saying Trump said so to bully Europe into buying its own energy, Reuters reported.

US-Russian relations have suffered from years of disagreement over the Syrian conflict, Russia's annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine.

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.

Mr Trump pumps his fist during his arrival in Regent's Park, London, to spend the night at the residence of the US Ambassador.

On spending, he said "we are stepping up as never before, allowing United States spending to go down", and there was a "new sense of urgency due to president Trump's strong leadership on defence spending".

But by Thursday, leaders from France, Germany and Italy offered no support for Trump's claim that he had wrung new concessions out of the alliance on their military spending.

TRUMP: "One of the states we won, Wisconsin _ I didn't even realize this until fairly recently - that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time".

In May, Poland said it was willing to pay up to $2 billion to support a permanent United States troop presence on its soil. And the president's declaration was also directly contradicted by one of his closest personal allies, French President Emanuel Macron.

The number that the president mentioned - 2 percent of countries' GDP - was in fact a main product of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings four years ago, when member nations pledged to move toward that threshold by 2024, a deadline that seemingly still stands after this week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sessions.

"Someone said, 'Is he an enemy?' No, he is not my enemy". John McCain (R-Az) - have called for the summit to be called off, especially if Trump is not willing to take Putin to task for the Russian meddling.

France now spends around 1.8% of GDP on defence.

"For Nato to be sustainable and successful, all countries need to step up to the plate". "I just don't know".

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in the presence of reporters.

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