Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have agreed to increase defence spending

US President Donald Trump addresses an event at the White House in Washington last month

US President Donald Trump addresses an event at the White House in Washington last month

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally. The new communique says 24 allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024. "It has been really unbelievable to see the level of spirit in that room".

Despite the majority belief that Trump has not been tough enough on Moscow, 59 percent of American voters believe that meeting with Putin is the right thing to do, compared to 33 percent who said Trump should not sit down with the Russian leader.

Trump blazed into the summit yesterday by demanding that allies reach their commitment to increase spending to two per cent of GDP "immediately" - instead of by 2024 as previously agreed.

Trump: "The commitment was at 2% [GDP], ultimately that will be going quite a bit higher than that."

Hours later, he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met privately and discussed the pipeline, each reaffirming the partnership between the USA and Germany.

US President Donald Trump claimed a personal victory at the summit after telling European allies to increase spending or lose Washington's support.

With allies fearing he could strike some sort of deal with NATO's key adversary, Trump said that he saw Putin as a "competitor" but not an "enemy".

As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic - as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House. Trump has repeatedly denounced low levels of defense spending among remaining members, particularly Germany.

North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of U.S. war dead
North Korea's failure to show up to the meeting follows a tempestuous week in the ongoing denuclearization talks with Washington. Reports at press time indicate that those coffins remain on the border but have not been filled with the promised remains.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation". Trump tweeted this morning before the second day of talks.

Nothing has changed since Trump arrived in Brussels.

Including that commitment, however, Canada's current defence spending plans are only expected to bring it to 1.4 per cent of GDP, well short of the Wales target.

'The United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world, ' Trump said.

"NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is sidestepping questions about whether President Donald Trump has asked his allies to double their defence spending ambitions".

The President reportedly threatened to quit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if his increased spending demands were not met. Many have already settled their 2019 budgets and the sums involved are enormous - even if they wanted to, many would struggle to make useful purchases.

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. "I made the point for Germany that we know we have to do more".

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