NATO to Boost Military Spending, Tackle Afghanistan Conflict

تم نشره في Thu 12 July / Jul 2018. 12:00 AM
  • The first day of the summit saw tense exchanges over defence spending - (AFP/Getty Images)

CAPITALS — Nato leaders plan to turn their attentions to the conflict in Afghanistan, on the second day of a Brussels summit so far dominated by demands from President Donald Trump, who is also working towards boosting military expenditure of member states.

Mr Trump on Wednesday urged Nato allies to commit 4 per cent of their annual output (GDP) to military spending.

He also singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending during the first session.

At this point, Nato states are currently working towards a target of 2%.

President Trump used Thursday morning's meeting to demand that the 2% goal be met by 2019, according to reports.
NATO states defence spending - (BBC)

Reuters news agency said he broke from "a carefully scripted session" about other Nato matters to emphatically restate his position.

In a press conference, Mr Trump was complimentary about the meeting. "We made a tremendous amount of progress today," he said.

"It has been really amazing to see the level of spirit in that room," he added, before adding that he believed in Nato and it was a "fine-tuned machine".

Nato leaders are hoping for a more conciliatory tone on Thursday before Mr Trump leaves for the UK.

In early-morning tweets from Brussels, the US president resumed his criticism.

He earlier accused Germany of being held prisoner to imported Russian energy, claiming it is "totally controlled" by Moscow.

EU figures suggest Russia is responsible for between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of Germany's gas imports, but gas makes up less than 20 per cent of Germany's energy mix for power production.

President Trump's next stop after Belgium is the UK, where he will arrive early afternoon to begin a two-day working visit.