European Union council chief to Trump: Respect the allies you have

A group of Syrian fans at World Cup

The think tank was referring to the pledge at NATO's 2014 summit meeting that members would "aim to move toward" spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024. While that is down from more than $740 billion in 2011, it's still well above the outlay of all other members.

European Council President Donald Tusk addressed Trump's criticism, telling the U.S. President to "appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", at an E.U. Trump left that gathering without signing the perfunctory joint statement among the leaders that his aides had endorsed, and he proceeded to trash its host, Trudeau, as "weak" and "dishonest".

The U.S. commander in chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

Meanwhile, the Trump-Putin relationship is blossoming (or perhaps just coming out into the open).

At the time, Johnson was Mayor of London and said Trump was talking "complete and utter nonsense".

Trump also noted that 2% of GDP should be the "bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats".

Speaking to reporters at the White House before leaving on the week-long trip, Trump repeated his criticism of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not spending enough on their defense and pointed to the political tensions in Britain over the government's Brexit plans.

"The president was willing to offer concessions to Kim without getting anything specific or concrete in return", said Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The US is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them". "We spend on defence much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", he added.

"I think there will be more give and take but I'm not underestimating the challenges". New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a "Salute to Service" dinner held in honour of the nation's military at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US, July 3, 2018.

He is expected to repeat his demands for more military spending on Wednesday (Thursday NZT).

The foregoing is not meant to rationalize Trump's meat-axe approach to decades of USA leadership in creating, maintaining, nurturing, and developing the global system of relations among states. The Europeans abhor Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States' partner.

NATO, which was founded soon after World War II to counter the influence of the Soviet Union, officially suspended all cooperation with Russian Federation after Putin seized Crimea in 2014.

A country's defense contribution shouldn't be measured only as a percentage of GDP, but also in terms of troops and hardware, she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin.

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