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Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

12 July 2018

BRUSSELS-US President Donald Trump assured the US's readiness to return to the bargaining table if Iran initiates talks, he said in a statement at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation news conference when asked about rising tensions with Iran on Thursday morning.

"They made tremendous success and I believe our trade will increase and lots of other things but we will see what happens over the next few months".

Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the U.S. president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods. EURACTIV broke the story.

"NATO is not a stock exchange where you can buy security".

In another tweet, Pompeo said that on Thursday, together with allies from Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Jordan "we reaffirmed our support for the Syrian political process and our goals of removing Iran's influence, defeating #ISIS, deterring chemical weapons use".

In response, the Twitter account of Russia's foreign ministry said they would be turning their attention to the World Cup instead of NATO's allegations.

Mr Trump refused to deny that he had threatened to pull the U.S. out of the organisation, but said the atmosphere in the meeting was cordial.

The US leader has also singled out Germany for particular criticism over its defence spending.

On Thursday, he said the summit won't be a "big schedule". And we'll make a deal. At breakfast he had spoken of Germany as a "captive" of Russian Federation because of the two countries' energy relationship, which he labelled "inappropriate". Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, full champagne flute in hand, came over to greet the first lady, and the two talked for several minutes.

The tough rhetoric against a core ally comes just days before Mr. Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Putin in Finland.

Trump heads to Britain on Thursday, where the government is in crisis over Brexit and where tensions with Russian Federation have spiked after London blamed Moscow for the death this month of a British woman from contact with the Novichok nerve agent.

The substance is the same military-grade toxin that almost killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in an earlier attack that Britain also blamed on Moscow.

On day two, leaders will welcome non-NATO partners including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko to the alliance's new glass-and-steel headquarters as they seek to focus on policy rather than politics.

"I brought it up, no one brought it up but me".

Funding has averaged about $1 billion annually and Stoltenberg has said he expected that level to be met.

"Many countries are not paying what they should", Trump said, seated across from a visibly rattled Stoltenberg.

During an impromptu news conference Thursday, President Donald Trump suggested that he could someday become friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said the Kremlin leader, whose country meddled in the 2016 election, is "not my enemy".

Trump was opposed to remaining in America's longest running war, but his advisers convinced him to give it more time.

Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges