Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have agreed to increase defence spending

Republicans Back From Russia Have Advice for Trump Before Putin Summit

Republicans Back From Russia Have Advice for Trump Before Putin Summit

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

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.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said flatly that he agreed "no increase in spending" beyond that previously agreed by Rome, which previous year spent 1.1 percent on defence and is labouring under heavy debts that severely limit its options. "I have no doubt about it". Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. Trump said that would happen over "a fairly short period of time".

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018. "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024.

That's all", said Macron, who also denied talk of Trump threatening to withdraw from the alliance.

But French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters the alliance had not agreed to anything new during the meeting. He suggested an accelerated timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip". And he said Canada has promised to reverse a decline in military resources with an eye towards the 2% target. "I don't know that is what they voted for". Now it's a commitment.

Asked if he threatened to leave, Trump did not give a direct answer. "Now it's a commitment, a real commitment".

The increased spending predates Trump.

The US president was similarly effusive when he met German chancellor Angela Merkel. "Are we contributing the kinds of resources and demonstrating the kind of commitment to the alliance that always needs to be there?"'

Trump's comments came amid reports that he had warned leaders at an emergency session that the United States could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders held an unplanned emergency meeting at a Brussels summit Thursday after Trump told allies to immediately increase their defense spending, diplomatic sources said.

"They're treating us with much more respect right now than they did in the past", Trump said.

Nonetheless, he has simultaneously asserted that the US should pay less.

"The president has been consistent".

But they also wanted to ensure they pointed out that dollars-and-cents commitments aren't the only ones that count.

"I think once the trend started changing in 2014, that created momentum even before he became president", says American University's Martin.

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