Monday, 23 July, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit continues after delirious first day

Trump Germany held captive by Russia John Kerry has a lot of thoughts on Donald Trump's combative NATO comments
Guillermo Jimenez | 12 July, 2018, 14:17

US President Donald Trump accused Germany on Wednesday of being a "captive" of Russian Federation due to its energy reliance and its support for the plan to double capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline", Trump told reporters, calling the alleged dependence on Russian energy "inappropriate". Angela Merkel hit back at Trump's comments, saying "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on U.S. taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of 4% of gross domestic product was above the United States own spending on defence. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

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She also said there were papers in the glove compartment and a dirty ashtray, but it still wasn't enough to tip her off. Apparently, the Infiniti owner had left his key fob in the vehicle , so the door opened and she was able to start it.

"All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!" We are good partners, and we wish to continue to cooperate in the future.

The President said: "We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the U.S. president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

The US leader has also singled out Germany for particular criticism over its defence spending.

Scrapped drill with South Korea would have cost US$14m: Pentagon
However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified. Trump's tweet after the summit in Singapore declaring "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea ".

Asked about Trump's suggestion, Stoltenberg said he'll focus on what's been agreed to. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.

Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

"We didn't know what to expect, it was a positive outcome", he said of the dinner in a Brussels park, where leaders were treated to an acrobatic display and saxophone music.

Theresa May has delivered a stark warning to Donald Trump not to split North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by appeasing Vladimir Putin when they meet in Helsinki next week.

"The president came out of Singapore saying he'd ended the nuclear threat from North Korea", said one USA official, referring to Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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You're disappointed because you lose the semi-final, and it's very hard to see the opportunity of playing another game as a positive.

European diplomats fear a repeat of last month's divisive G7 in Canada when Trump clashed with his Western allies before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit and praising him as "very talented".

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