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UK News London NATO summit begins as tensions spike on either side of Atlantic

17:40  03 december  2019
17:40  03 december  2019 Source:   uk.finance.yahoo.com

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But tensions on either side of the Atlantic have reached an acrimonious pitch, prompting the US president to defend the organisation he has long Donald Trump arrived in London on Tuesday ostensibly to celebrate 70 years of the NATO military alliance. But tensions on either side of the

But tensions on either side of the Atlantic have reached an acrimonious pitch, prompting the US president to defend the organisation he has long derided. Late last month, French president Emmanuel Macron described NATO as a “brain dead” alliance, noting that European members could

a man standing in front of a building: U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport in England, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. US President Donald Trump will join other NATO heads of state at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday to mark the NATO Alliance's 70th birthday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport in England, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. US President Donald Trump will join other NATO heads of state at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday to mark the NATO Alliance's 70th birthday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Donald Trump arrived in London on Tuesday ostensibly to celebrate 70 years of the NATO military alliance. But tensions on either side of the Atlantic have reached an acrimonious pitch, prompting the US president to defend the organisation he has long derided.

Late last month, French president Emmanuel Macron described NATO as a “brain dead” alliance, noting that European members could no longer take the support of the US for granted.

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization , also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries.

But tensions on either side of the Atlantic have reached an acrimonious pitch, prompting the US president to defend the organisation he has long derided. Late last month, French president Emmanuel Macron described NATO as a “brain dead” alliance, noting that European members could

Trump, who famously branded NATO “obsolete”, on Tuesday struck back, calling Macron’s statement “very dangerous” and “very insulting”.

“I think nobody needs it more than France,” Trump said.

But the war of words about the state of the alliance obscures the crosscurrents that Trump himself faces in the US, particularly as the impeachment enquiry launched by the Democrats gathers steam.

And for prime minister Boris Johnson, who is technically hosting the NATO celebrations, the arrival of Trump to the UK creates an effective landmine ahead of next week’s general election.

Johnson’s Conservative party has thus far maintained its lead in the polls, but the UK leader is undoubtedly fearful that Trump could put his foot in it.

NATO's birthday summit risks highlighting splits not unity

  NATO's birthday summit risks highlighting splits not unity A birthday celebration for NATO this week is set to be overshadowed by rows about Turkey's offensive in Syria, France's declaration the alliance is brain dead and uncertainty over US commitment to trans-Atlantic defence. © Getty A NATO aircraft marks 70 years of the alliance President Donald Trump and 28 other heads of state and government will travel to the UK to mark the bloc's 70th anniversary alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.The leader of North Macedonia is included because his country will soon become the 30th member state.

The NATO leaders’ meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, north of London , on Wednesday.Credit Al Drago for The New York Times. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the host of the NATO summit , but he spoke like he was walking on eggshells when he faced reporters at the end

The North Atlantic Council meeting gets underway at the NATO summit held in Britain. Leaders are seeking to make a show of unity but what should have been a celebration of NATO 's 70th birthday has been overshadowed by bitter rows about money and the future strategy of the alliance.

Thus far, however, Trump has managed to stick to the correct tune. Speaking earlier today, he said that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) would not form part of any potential trade pact between the US and UK.

“If you handed [the NHS] to us on a silver platter, we wouldn't want it. We want nothing to do with it,” he said.

Trump has also chosen to defend the alliance, saying it had “a great purpose” in a meeting with NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

But its future has been thrown into question — first by Trump’s repeated scorning, but also more recently by a vagrant Turkey.

Ahead of the summit, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that he would veto a plan to defend Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia from Russian aggression unless the alliance recognised the Kurdish YPG militia, who Turkey is fighting in Syria, as terrorists.

But the YFG lead a grouping that is allied with US-backed forces, making such recognition highly unlikely.

The Latest: Macron wants bigger Europe military role in NATO

  The Latest: Macron wants bigger Europe military role in NATO LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the NATO summit in London (all times local): 7:05 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron said Europeans should play a greater role within the NATO military alliance in order to be less dependent on the United States. Macron said he wants “more European defense to get a less unbalanced NATO.” That came after he met with Turkish President Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of a NATO summit. © Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump meets French President Emmanuel Macron at Winfield House, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in London.

The North Atlantic Council meeting gets underway at the NATO summit held in Britain. Leaders are seeking to make a show of unity but what should have been a celebration of NATO 's 70th birthday has been overshadowed by bitter rows about money and the future strategy of the alliance.

The North Atlantic Council meeting gets underway at the NATO summit held in Britain. Leaders are seeking to make a show of unity but what should have been a celebration of NATO 's 70th birthday has been overshadowed by bitter rows about money and the future strategy of the alliance.

Recent actions by Turkey have only deepened Syria-related tensions, but it followed Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw forces from the country.

“If our friends at NATO don't recognise as terrorist organisations those we consider terrorist organisations, we will stand against any step that will be taken there,” Erdogan said recently.

His comments are problematic, not least because NATO was set up in 1949 in the wake of World War Two, just as western nations were concerned about the rise of Soviet Russia.

Erdogan choosing not to back a plan to defend against Russian aggression would thus mark a new low for the alliance.

Macron, Erdogan and German chancellor Angela Merkel will be received at Downing Street later on Tuesday by Johnson.

Later, leaders of all NATO member countries, including Trump, will be hosted at a reception by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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