'NATO Is Much Stronger Now': Trump Claims Victory After Contentious Summit

Trump Muses About Future Friendship With Putin: He 'Is Not My Enemy'

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2018.

As a contentious North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels began to wind down on Thursday, President Donald Trump claimed victory over defense spending and reaffirmed US commitment to the alliance. But I will tell you this: at a certain point they're going to call me they're going to say "Let's make a deal".

An agreement to reopen talks would allow both sides to argue that they are tackling a major issue, a result analysts said might appeal to both leaders' egos, while leaving it to lower-level officials to grapple with the nitty gritty.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

"For years presidents have been coming to these meetings and have talked about the tremendous expense to the USA, and tremendous progress has been made", Mr Trump said.

The unexpected demand from Trump during a closed-door meeting of heads of state laid down a new, virtually unachievable marker for a peacetime military spending in an alliance already struggling to meet current defense spending commitments.

He added: "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

Asked what he will discuss with the Russian president, Trump replied: "We will be asking about Syria, I will be asking about meddling, your favourite question".

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"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.

She said: "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

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.

Wrapping up a chaotic North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, Donald Trump fawned over what he believes to be securing a major increase in European Allies' spending while jovially promising that he could bring the USA out of the bloc at his whim. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius". On Thursday, Trump said he wasn't troubled by the planned protests.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

A second former senior USA official argued Russia needs New Start extended more than the United States does, in part because of its budgetary constraints, and anxious Trump could agree to this without pressing for Russian compliance on the INF pact. "Because I said it was unfair".

During brief remarks to reporters, he mostly praised Trump's approach.

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