'A great meeting': Trump wants North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double defence spending

Uneasy alliance Transatlantic partners prepare for contentious NATO summit

Must pay 2 per cent of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025. According to Stoltenberg, eight countries would meet the 2 percent target this year and a "majority" put forward plans to do so by 2020 - compared to only three countries who were meeting the commitment in 2014.

Merkel, for her part, called the two nations "good partners" and said "we wish to continue to co-operate in the future".

TRUMP: "You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France".

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

During moments that were visible to the press, Trump often separated himself from most of his counterparts, particularly those with whom he has had public disagreements, such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Justin Trudeau.

"A strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is good for Europe and it's also good for the United States", he told Trump.

Trump's tongue-lashing accelerated during a pre-summit breakfast, when he traded his usual long-distance Twitter attacks for a face-to-face confrontation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

TRUMP: "Germany is a captive of Russian Federation because they supply (energy)".

He said they were discussing military spending and trade.

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Back in the U.S., Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump's "brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany", as "an embarrassment". Washington spent 3.6 per cent past year.

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. "So, I think that's inappropriate also". "Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?"

Yet Mr. Trump's warnings about the pipeline's strategic dimension would be more persuasive if he weren't also as busy as Mr. Schröder playing down the strategic threat posed by Mr. Putin.

"That's exactly why all allies agree that those who are spending less than 2% have to spend more and that's exactly what we have started to do". "Totally controlled by Russia" is definitely not a phrase continually ringing around Trump's brain.

Although Trump did not name the Russian pipeline project, he was referring to Nord Stream 2, an expansion of the world's largest undersea pipeline linking Russia to Germany.

Stoltenberg agreed there should be more done to prompt allies to invest more in their defense.

Trump has preferred to take aim at allies. "So adding Nord Stream 2 is not adding a new capability of supplying gas that doesn't exist", Kurt Volcker, the US special representative for Ukraine negotiations, said on May 24.

When it was her turn to address reporters in the room for the meeting with Trump, Merkel made no similar declaration about her relationship with Trump. American officials say the U.S.is itself short of that mark, spending 3.3 percent of its GDP on defense.

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