Trump shoves fellow Nato leader aside on his first summit
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 12:07
But in Europe, Trump has faced a far cooler reception and has been eager to go on the offensive. He's also refused to explicitly back the mutual defense agreement that has been activated only once, during the darkest hours of September 2001.
"Getting ready to engage G7 leaders on many issues including economic growth, terrorism, and security", Trump wrote on Twitter.
Defence secretary James Mattis - an increasingly important behind-the-scenes figure who sat at Trump's side at Thursday's meeting with EU Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker - favours dispatching up to 5,000 more troops, but other advisers to the president are wary of committing more resources to the 16-year war.
"He said they're very bad on trade but he doesn't have a problem with Germany", Axios reports Cohn told the press pool.
One of those relationships was on display as Trump began the day with a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Markovic appears surprised by the shove but then smiles graciously and pats the USA president on the back.
The summit, he said, had taken steps "to keep up the momentum" (on increasing defense spending) and to "continue to match words with action".
The aim of the new plan is to achieve joint priorities between Washington and regional states, including the defeat of ISIS, fighting terrorism, in addition to facing the Iranian treats and to draw a new map of regional alliances through establishing joint forces and intelligent information sharing.
Just as notable as what Trump said, however, is what he didn't say.
Trump is meeting with leaders from the G-7 nations in Sicily. "We want to see determination and commitment over unity", with the other partners going ahead without the United States.
But the threat of Islamic extremism remained a uniting theme as the specter of Monday's Manchester concert bombing loomed over the summit at the alliance's new headquarters in Brussels.
Mr Trump continued: "This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in". In his opening remarks, Trump said, "The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration". Most NATO members, meanwhile, spend less than the 2 percent benchmark.
Trump lectured leaders from the 27 other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in his debut speech, demanding they "finally contribute their fair share" because it is "not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States" that they spend so much more on defence than the alliance's other members.
Allies who had hoped to hear Trump publicly declare his commitment to NATO's Article 5 collective defence guarantee were left disappointed as he made no mention of it and instead castigated them on their home turf.
While Trump has met all of the leaders one on one, this will be the first time all seven are around the same table, including also newcomers Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of Britain and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni forging a new dynamic after a year of global political turmoil amid rising nationalism.