Trump says United States commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remains strong despite criticism

U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as they arrive at Melsbroek Military airport in Melsbroek Belgium Tuesday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Brussels that "there was a clear commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by all".

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 USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked.

Trump's comments came ahead of his summit on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, though the Kremlin said they were unlikely to have an impact on what was always going to be a hard meeting due to the number of disagreements between the two countries.

She said that Trump raised the topic of better burden-sharing and more spending by Germany, "as has been discussed for months", and that, "we made clear that we're on the way".

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

Referring to the 97-2 vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate affirming its support for NATO, Kerry called on Republican lawmakers to call Trump on his actions.

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output". "The U.S. pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe, and loses Big on Trade!"

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Referring to her own past living in the now defunct East Germany, Ms Merkel added: "I personally experienced how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union". I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany.

President Donald Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, shifted in his seat and despondently looked away as Trump called Germany a "captive" of Russian Federation. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behavior for this to become a reality, " she said. That report is backed up by the Washington Post, but both newspapers say those in the meeting were unsure exactly what the threat meant-a USA pullout or maybe a lesser American role?

He said the increase would happen in "a very short number of years".

Tusk also urged European NATO members to spend more on defense, but noted: "Money is important but generating solidarity is more important". Trump said "actual" USA military spending is 4.2 percent of GDP, without explaining the big discrepancy.

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.

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