Donald Trump 'threatens to pull USA out of NATO'

Trump Says U.S. Allies Agree to Raise NATO Defense Spending

The president told reporters in Belgium that he has "no problem" with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation now that member nations have agreed to spend at least $33 billion more on their collective defense.

"Tremendous progress has been made".

"Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment", he said. "It has been really fantastic to see the level of spirit in that room".

In a chaotic 28 hours at NATO, President Donald Trump disparaged longtime allies, cast doubt on his commitment to the mutual-defence organization and sent the 29-member pact into frenzied emergency session.

"Some are at 2 per cent, others have agreed definitely to go to 2 per cent, and some are going back to get the approval, and which they will get to go to 2 per cent", he said.

Trump answered questions on the United States' commitments to the transatlantic alliance, his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, and his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

"What you spend on a military budget doesn't necessarily automatically lead to greater capacity to contribute to NATO's defence", he said.

Trump also said he is "not happy about Crimea", referring to the fact Russian Federation annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic - as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House.

Trump's condemnation of Germany also highlighted his determination to turn the tables on his critics, at a distance if not in person.

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Despite reports of tensions between Trump and some of the US's closest allies, the president insisted that relations between the leaders remain "very strong". Trump tweeted on Thursday morning before the second day of talks. Only eight countries expect to meet the target in 2018, he said.

A US official said Trump would be ready to talk about New Start if Putin raised it, but it was not a big USA priority. Following that, he will travel to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is struggling to keep her government from splintering.

(Trump has not held a news conference in the U.S. in over a year).

"They can agree to engage in a robust conversation", he added. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

On day two, leaders will welcome non-NATO partners including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko to the alliance's new glass-and-steel headquarters as they seek to focus on policy rather than politics.

Going into the week he was pressuring them to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, a figure that was established in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2014 when the allies not meeting the target pledged to reach it within a decade.

"I just want the people to be happy".

"NATO and other mutual defense agreements have a goal, but until we no longer bear the greatest brunt of the financial burden, we can not and should not consider expanding these commitments", Lee said in the statement.

It remains unclear if any commitments were made to speed up spending.

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