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

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While all eyes will be on what Trump does and says at the summit, there are some agreements that have been hashed out beforehand and are expected to get leaders' approval.

Tusk said that when Trump meets Putin afterwards in Helsinki, he should remember "who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem". One official said the morning meeting Thursday was taking place against the backdrop of Trump threatening allies to "go it alone" unless if they agree to increase their defense budgets immediately.

"We are paying for far too much of Nato", Trump said.

German Chancellor Angeka Merkel arrived in Brusseks after Mr Trump's outburst but was quick to respond. He also said the other leaders had thanked him for raising the issue of how to support NATO's operations. In the afternoon, he heads to his next stop: the United Kingdom. Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit.

That would represent a massive upheaval of budgetary priorities in Europe where Germany and many others have pledged only to reach 2 percent by 2024 or later, and it was not clear what allies would spend the money on. "It's really extraordinary that Donald Trump has to be the person to point out that the emperor in Europe has no clothes".

"I think it's fair to say that here in my office the team recognized what was coming and the importance of speaking out on it from my perspective and from the district's perspective", Curtis told Fox 13.

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries.

(From L to R, first row) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

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He added doctors were stationed along the corridors of the Tham Luang cave to check constantly on the boys' condition and pulse. Thai Navy SEALs also posted photos and a video of some of their operations in the cave on their Facebook page Wednesday.

Trump has met with Putin on a few occasions since he took office.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders confirmed the ask to reporters on Wednesday, saying that the president "wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations".

Trump brought up his upcoming Helsinki summit with Putin as he took reporters questions at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

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.

"President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO", Macron told reporters.

May's government is in turmoil over how to exit the European Union following the Brexit vote.

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behavior for this to become a reality, " she said.

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

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