Trudeau to attend NATO leaders meeting in U.K., 70th anniversary of alliance
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to attend the NATO leaders meeting next week in the U.K. Trudeau's office says while in London he will meet with allies to mark the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During the meeting, Trudeau plans to reiterate Canada's commitment to NATO and to trans-Atlantic security, as well as the importance of working together to modernize the alliance. The meeting agenda calls forTrudeau's office says while in London he will meet with allies to mark the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
President Trump on Tuesday said Canada was "just slightly delinquent" for not meeting NATO's spending target of 2 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"Slightly delinquent, I would say, Canada. But they'll be OK. I have confidence," Trump said at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of a NATO leaders meeting in London.
"Just slightly delinquent. Some are major delinquent. Some are way below 1 percent and that's unacceptable. And then if something happens, we're supposed to protect them and it's not really fair," Trump continued.
All eyes on Trump as Trudeau seeks to shore up NATO at London summit
LONDON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will set out to strengthen the NATO military alliance today, though all eyes will ultimately be on U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump is to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg first thing this morning, for an exchange that will set the tone for the next two days as leaders from the alliance's 29 member states celebrate its 70th birthday and talk about the future. Trump has waffled betweenTrump is to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg first thing this morning, for an exchange that will set the tone for the next two days as leaders from the alliance's 29 member states celebrate its 70th birthday and talk about the future.
(Video by Global News)
Trump has previously lashed out at NATO member countries for not meeting the alliance's defense spending target of 2 percent GDP, accusing them of being "delinquent." Trump has long pressed countries to spend more on defense and complained the United States contributes a disproportionate amount to the alliance.
Trump's remarks on Tuesday about Canada were widely interpreted as going easy on the NATO member, which currently spends 1.4 percent of GDP on defense.
At one point Tuesday, Trump joked that he would put Canada "on a payment plan."
COMMENTARY: Defence spending isn’t a priority in Ottawa, but this week showed that it should be .
Ignoring defence issues doesn’t make them go away, Rob Breakenridge says — quite the opposite, in fact. READ MORE: NATO’s future in question as Trudeau, world leaders mark alliance’s 70th birthday The NATO summit was just the latest reminder of the American government's considerable frustration with what it perceives to be a chronic lack of defence spending on Ottawa’s part. We benefit tremendously from our defence relationship with the U.S., in both the bilateral sense and also through alliances like NATO.But if we’re perceived to be freeloaders, that could all be in jeopardy.