NATO summit: Donald Trump claims victory after talks on defence spending commitments, Emmanuel Macron disagrees

Brussels: United States President Donald Trump hailed a personal victory at a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit on 12 July, saying allies had sharply increased defence spending commitments after he provoked a crisis session with a tirade at European leaders.

“I told people that I would be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments,(sic)” an ebullient President told reporters after the second day of the Brussels meeting, when NATO leaders huddled with Trump to try to defuse a crisis.

But French President Emmanuel Macron denied Trump’s claim that NATO powers agreed to increase defence spending beyond previous targets.

Trump said, “I let them (NATO leaders) know that I was extremely unhappy.” But added that the talks had ended on the best of terms.

“It all came together at the end. It was a little tough for a little while,” he said.

Officials at the meeting said Trump shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, telling her: “Angela, you need to do something about this.”

Most officials and the invited leaders of non-NATO Afghanistan and Georgia were ushered out.

Others in the room, including the Lithuanian President whose country is among the most nervous of Russian ambitions, denied a suggestion that Trump had threatened to quit the alliance.

Macron also said that Trump “never at a...

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