Trump Criticizes NATO Members Ahead Of Key Summit

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The Brief is EURACTIV's daily newsletter

'I'm confident the UK-US alliance will play a leading role in advancing our shared values of democracy and freedom, ' he said.

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

Hodges said it was reasonable that Trump should exert a pressure on the allies in order to raise their defence expenditures.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday from the White House before departing Washington for Europe, Trump says of the 69-year old trans-Atlantic mutual defense pact, "Frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us".

BRITAIN has maintained its defense spending at just above 2 percent for several years and is set to do so again this year.

In another tweet, the Republican president complained about Europe's trade surplus with the United States.

The document reportedly emphasizes the importance of maintaining a dialogue between the Russian and US heads of state, diplomats, militaries, and intelligence agencies, and calls for closer economic ties and more contact between Russians and Americans.

Canada leads one of four battalions deployed by the Western defence alliance on its eastern flank in 2017 in a deterrence and defence posture following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

On Tuesday, the alliance said seven out of 27 European members were on track to meet the two percent spending target: Britain, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania.

Many US presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries. "And dear Europe, spend more on your defense because everyone expects an ally that is well prepared and equipped", he added, noting: "Money is important, but genuine solidarity should be more important".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also enters the summit with a limp, after surviving her own leadership crisis about Germany and Europe's response to migration.

Though the European allies expressed dissatisfaction with the uncertainty that Trump's approach has brought them, they appear to be reluctantly getting onboard.

"I would like to thank President Trump for his leadership on defence spending". A withdrawal would weaken European defences against any Russian aggression.

With French and German officials urging member states to paper over their differences, EU President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to Trump yesterday, telling him "the USA doesn't have and won't have a better ally than the EU". Now could it be some other negotiation?' she then asked. The fact that the United States maintains about 70,000 troops in Europe gives him additional leverage. There are now around 65,000 American military personnel in Europe, down from several hundred thousand during the Cold War.

The world will be watching that summit too - and anxious to see, what, if any, deal is reached between the two leaders.

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