NATO Summit: After Donald Trump’s demands for higher defence spending on Day 1, leaders likely to focus on Afghanistan war today
Brussels: NATO leaders will try on Thursday to move beyond US president Donald Trump’s demands for higher defence spending, and focus on ending the long war in Afghanistan, in the second day of a summit in Brussels underscored by transatlantic tensions.
On a trip that will also take Trump to Britain and to Helsinki to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the president spent the first day of the NATO summit lambasting allies for failing to spend the targeted two percent of GDP on defence and accused Germany of being a 'prisoner' to Russian energy.
Trump, in a late-night post on Twitter, wrote: “Billions of additional dollars are being spent by NATO countries since my visit last year, at my request, but it isn’t nearly enough. U.S. spends too much.”
It followed an uncomfortable first round at the summit where anxious Western allies were subjected to the US president’s “America first” approach. His comment that Germany was controlled by Russia earned a rebuke from Berlin.
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.
British prime minister Theresa May tried to set the tone on Wednesday by announcing more troops for NATO’s Afghan training mission.
“We will be deploying an additional 440 personnel to NATO’s R...