Trump Says U.S. Allies Agree to Raise NATO Defense Spending

Trump lashes out at NATO allies calling for increase in defence spending

U.S. President Donald Trump again referred to himself as a "stable genius" on Thursday following the conclusion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

"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". As representatives from the alliance's 29 member states return to their respective countries - or, in the case of U.S. president Donald Trump, travel on to meet his Russian and British counterparts - the participants will all be trying to make sense of what happened. Heads of state signed a communique in which they "reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all aspects of the Defence Investment Pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales summit". Trump: "The additional money that they're willing to put up has been really fantastic ... "

And he claimed the other 28 members had agreed to boost their own defense spending to as much as 4 percent of gross domestic product - a claim that other leaders disputed.

Trump said he made his anger clear to allies on Wednesday.

The president has been highly critical of the alliance, complaining the USA pays more than others.

"The fact is that we have a commitment to increase defense spending".

A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia's annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel's annexation of Jerusalem.

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" - and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well".

"Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation". "After we're at 2 percent, we'll start talking about going higher".

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Trump said he wanted "peace all over the world, that's my goal", and he wanted to achieve this by building up the military, with his dream to have the best military equipment in the world and never have to use it.

Trump heads to Britain on Thursday, where the government is in crisis over Brexit and where tensions with Russian Federation have spiked after London blamed Moscow for the death this month of a British woman from contact with the Novichok nerve agent.

Trump poured fuel on the Brexit fire just hours before he was due to land there, saying he was not sure that Britons had voted for the Brexit plan presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has triggered a British cabinet rebellion.

"The people voted to break it up (Britain's ties with the EU)", Trump told a press conference in Brussels on Thursday.

"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route".

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said to reporters.

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised. It's also always been a bugbear for the United States, which spends more on defence both as a percentage of GDP and in absolute terms than any other member.

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.

"So we have a commitment to spend two percent". The important thing now is that we need to invest more - we need to get more money.

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