North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump hails alliance spending promises after crisis meeting

Trump says the US commitment to NATO

It will be Trump's first working visit to the United Kingdom since he became President, and massive protests in London are expected.

So, in a stroke, he shifted attention away from his own ties to the Kremlin just days before he meets one-on-one with Putin.

The new German ambassador to the USA conveyed some of the simmering unease in her country and beyond during a Wednesday interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, when he asked whether her country thinks Trump would honor Article 5, the alliance commitment to come to a member's aid if they're attacked. They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before... "Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have substantially upped their commitment".

At NATO's 2014 summit in Wales, in the face of new Russian aggression and the annexation of Crimea, the allies had pledged to increase investments in defence and move towards investing 2 per cent of their GDP in collective security. "We committed ourselves to spending a bit more". That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.

"The numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. and they're going to be going up further", he said.

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

Trump threw the summit into turmoil by demanding not only that allies reach their commitment to increase spending to two percent of GDP "immediately" - instead of by 2024 as previously agreed - but also telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four percent.

"It all came together at the end", Mr Trump said.

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Though NATO allies have squabbled in the past, Trump seemed to be leaving in his wake not just bruised feelings, but deeper concerns about the future of the Western alliance that has served as a bedrock of the global order. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

In an apparent swipe at Trump, he added: "Sometimes the corridors, comments and tweets take on more importance than what is negotiated, said or endorsed by heads of state".

Among NATO defense officials, there were quiet questions about how long US Defense Secretary James Mattis - a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and strong believer in alliances - could stay on in Trump's administration. But he added that the talks had ended on good terms: "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly". The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

He infuriated Chancellor Angela Merkel by claiming that the pipeline deal had left Germany a "captive" that was "totally controlled" by Moscow because of a gas deal between Russian Federation and Germany.

He continued that attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

A month after he walked out of a G7 economic summit amid rows about new US tariffs that have provoked fears of global trade war, Trump was already at the centre of a storm from the start of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Wednesday.

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

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