Mubasher: US President Donald Trump stated that his country's commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “remains very strong”, after the military alliance’s summit in Brussels.
“NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago,” Trump told reporters, describing an unscheduled crisis meeting of the 29 alliance leaders on Thursday as “fantastic” and having “a great collegial spirit.”
“We will go higher,” Trump added and urged the NATO member-state spending to meet the 2% target.
“I told people I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments very substantially,” he said.
President Trump’s announcement came after a tense meeting with allied leaders that was set to focus on Georgia and Ukraine.
Changing the subject to military spending, Trump demanded that members meet the 2% military expenditure target set for 2024, or “he will do his own thing,” diplomats familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday. That left leaders in the room baffled whether that was a threat to abandon the alliance or to change the US' role in it.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg had called for an emergency meeting on Thursday, following Trump’s heated criticism.