American President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to leave NATO should the Allies make no immediate effort to increase their defense expenditure, according to diplomatic sources following discussions during the Atlantic Summit’s second session, quoted by the German press agency DPA. This information was confirmed by Belga. Donald Trump was extremely aggressive towards his NATO Allies, demanding that they reach “immediately’’ 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in military expenditure. He even suggested, during interviews held Wednesday, that member countries invest 4% of their GDP in defense, as does the US.
If the Allies do not immediately increase their military expenditure to 2%, the Americans will follow their own path, declared Mr. Trump to the other participants of a summit dominated by the White House resident’s budgetary requirements from his Allies, among which only seven or eight reach this level.
These remarks brought on the convocation of an extraordinary meeting of the 29 allied heads within the North Atlantic Council (the major NATO body), in a very downsized format (head and his/her choice of counselor, that is 1+1 format), confided a diplomatic source to Belga. The morning of Thursday was to be devoted to relationships between the Alliance for one part, and Georgia and Ukraine on another, according to the same diplomatic sources quoted above, says DPA.
The Brussels Times