Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

German Officials, Trump Exchange Criticism Ahead Of NATO Summit

German Officials, Trump Exchange Criticism Ahead Of NATO Summit

While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more.

Fifteen members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are on track to meet the pledge to spend two percent of their GDP on defense by 2024, and "every one of our allies - 100 percent - are increasing defense spending, so that's something we will talk about as an achievement, but we have to do more", she added.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a "Salute to Service" dinner held in honour of the nation's military at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US, July 3, 2018.

Trump has long admired Putin, and believes the U.S. and Russian Federation can be allies, according to multiple reports on his attitude toward Putin and his regime.

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"He will have watched the Kim Jong Un summit and he will have the same appraisal: that Trump gave away a major American card without getting anything concrete back for it", said a former senior USA official.

"Even if they hit 2 percent, I don't think it would matter....he just isn't interested in the whole alliance relationship", said Goldgeier.

While it is in no one's interest to stumble backward into a Cold War, the huge political disconnect between Trump's dislike of Nato's democratic leaders and his frequently expressed admiration for the authoritarian Putin is an enormous discontinuity for the alliance.

Another point of concern for NATO allies is Trump's planned meeting with Russian President Putin immediately after the summit in Brussels, drawing parallels with Trump's post-G7 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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The ties between the US and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. Perhaps we can work out some of our differences. Still, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a weekly podcast Saturday, said Germany would increase defense spending in its 2019 budget, suggesting that Trump's complaints are paying off.

Will Trump ignore all of this in pursuit of a new U.S. -Russia alliance?

We do however, have a reasonable idea of the issues the two leaders and their aides will have mapped out before the meeting: the areas where they each want something from their counterpart, and the places they are willing to give ground.

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