Sunday 15 July 2018
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5 days ago

Trump lashes NATO allies as he lands for tense summit

11 July 2018: President Donald Trump told NATO allies to reimburse the United States for defence costs as he landed for the alliance s most difficult summit in years.

Trump touched down in Brussels aboard Air Force One hot on the heels of a stern warning from the EU s top official that America should appreciate its allies.

The leaders of the other 28 members of the NATO alliance are hoping for a show of unity despite stark transatlantic tensions on a host of issues, most notably Trump s repeated invective against Europe over defence spending.

Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made, he tweeted while his plane was in the air. Will they reimburse the U.S.?

Trump had said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Monday may be the easiest part of his upcoming European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.

Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think? he told reporters.

He vowed not to be taken advantage of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking US imports into the bloc, the world s biggest market.

It s certainly going to be an interesting time with NATO, Trump told journalists.

- Appreciate your allies -

The meeting of Western leaders in Brussels has the potential to turn into another public bust-up following a divisive and bad-tempered summit of G7 nations in Canada in June.

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks -- including in three separate tirades on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday -- making the summit one of the most difficult in years for the military alliance that has underpinned European se

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