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

Marsha Scott
July 11, 2018

In comments likely to alarm Mrs May, Trump acknowledged the "turmoil" facing her government but said he was nevertheless looking forward to "an interesting time" when he visits the United Kingdom later this week.

Days after, Trump heads to Helsinki to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that has also anxious USA allies.

Trump's relationship with Putin, and his inconsistent stance on Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, is perhaps one of the most scrutinized aspects of his presidency.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", Donald Tusk said after signing a joint European Union-NATO declaration on cooperation with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the United States to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.

As you might expect of the world's only military superpower, the United States pays more than others.

"I'm going to tell NATO: You've got to start paying your bills". Trump's meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Europe this week is expected to be stormy, as he is most likely to demand other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries start spending more on their defence.

Mr Trump also said the "British people should decide" Mrs May's fate, in what appeared to be a suggestion that she should hold an election over her controversial plans.

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Speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin last March, President Donald Trump criticized his own aides who had tried to prevent the phone call from taking place, according to a report from the New York Times.

For his part, Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker remarked that "NATO and the European Union are the most natural of partners", adding that the EU executive had proposed a dramatic increase in defence spending in its draft 2021-2027 budget. However, many members pitch in far less than that figure, while the USA puts in more than 3 percent of its GDP.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on July 16 for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the United States into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

"We do have a lot of allies, but we can not be taken advantage of". Contact with him by the US president during his visit would be seen by many as an insult to May.

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

The president touted that the U.S. lost $151 billion past year on trade and slapped tariffs on other countries in an effort towards free and fair trade. The EU did strike back with retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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