Trump tirade sends North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders into crisis session

Trump back pats

The comments come amid wide expectations of a turbulent summit-Trump has long criticized the 29-member alliance, calling it "obsolete", and is extremely critical of countries that are failing to meet the target of 2% of their GDP as defense spending.

Trump has taken particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which is set to run from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea. And it comes just days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.

Setting the tone for the summit's first day, President Trump made waves Wednesday morning at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg when he accused Germany of being under the sway of Russian interests.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the US gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

"I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union, and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good". Must pay 2 per cent of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the U.S. president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on United States taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the U.S. role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got underway.

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Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.

While Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has been in Trump's sights, Britain was keen to make the most of its status as one of the few North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations that meet the spending target and sided with Washington's position that allies should spend more.

But she insisted there must be "unity and strength" in the military alliance and he must not skirt issues like the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia.

"I brought it up, no one brought it up but me".

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.

Funding has averaged about $1 billion annually and Stoltenberg has said he expected that level to be met.

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table. I was 7 years old at the time.

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