"We should first get to two percent", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do so - turning a leaf on years of defence budget cuts. Allies will deliver on fairer burden-sharing, he said, pointing out that European Allies and Canada are expected to spend an extra $266 billion on defence between now and 2024.
Mr. Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the us and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked. EURACTIV broke the story. The main challenge is that the transatlantic relationship as such is changing, and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is just one element of this change.
Trump says at a news conference Thursday in Brussels that he told "people" that he would be "very unhappy" if they didn't increase their commitments. Though NATO allies have squabbled in the past, Trump seemed to be leaving in his wake not just bruised feelings, but deeper concerns about the future of the Western alliance that has served as a bedrock of the worldwide order.
Following the summit in Brussels, Trump is set to spend three days in the United Kingdom before travelling to Helsinki for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US leader has specifically singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending. Germany, Europe's richest country, spends just 1.24% on defense, and it's an unpopular topic there. Angela Merkel hit back at Trump's comments, saying "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".
Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.
Trump then held an impromptu press conference. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany.
May hopes Trump visit will boost US-UK links
US President Donald Trump arrives in Britain on Thursday for talks with the leader of the United States' closest ally in Europe. Later in the day, the President will head to Windsor Castle, where he will have a tea with the Queen.
There have been fears that Trump, keen to be seen to make a breakthrough with the Kremlin strongman, might make concessions that would weaken Western unity over issues like Ukraine and Syria.
The substance is the same military-grade toxin that almost killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in an earlier attack that Britain also blamed on Moscow.
British Prime Minister Theresa May tried to set the tone on Wednesday by announcing more troops for NATO's Afghan training mission.
"I brought it up, no one brought it up but me".
Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.
Leaders of Azerbaijan and Georgia, non-NATO members, were asked to leave for the emergency session.
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017.