Trump says Germany owes 'vast sums' to NATO

President Trump on Saturday morning pressed Germany to to pay more money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, one day after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington.

During his press conference with Merkel on Friday, he again raised complained that many European members of NATO, which he has described as "obsolete", were not pulling their weight within the Atlantic Alliance.

Instead, NATO countries have agreed to spend 2 percent of their GDP on military and defense.

He also lashed out at the news media on Saturday.

"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel", the president wrote.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. Stark differences between both on everything from trade to immigration were in full view during an icy first meeting between the two Western leaders at the White House on March 17 Friday.

On economic issues, Merkel attempted to project a conciliatory approach. "That's something of which I'm deeply convinced". "I hope we can come back to the table and talk about the agreement" between the European Union and United States, she said.

However at the start of the news conference, Mrs Merkel sought to break the ice, saying it was "much better to talk to one another than about one another".

Merkel said delicately that while she represents German interests, Trump "stands up for, as is right, American interests". Merkel said that goal likely won't be reached for several years.

The meetings at the White House included discussions on fighting the Islamic State group, the conflict in Afghanistan and resolving Ukraine's conflict, all matters that require close cooperation between the USA and Germany.

The veteran German chancellor had arrived at a snowy White House hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump's incendiary election rhetoric.

Mr Trump set the tone for his relations with the German chancellor during his campaign a year ago, saying her decision to allow refugees into Germany was a "catastrophic mistake" and suggested she was "ruining Germany".

  • Zachary Reyes