UK News Trump and Macron build bridges after diplomatic flare-up over Nato
Trump to meet Macron, Merkel at NATO summit
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of next week’s NATO summit in London. The summit comes at a critical moment for the 29-member military alliance, which has been fraying in the face of Trump’s complaints that too many NATO members are spending too little on defense. Trump also has meetings scheduled during the summit with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.The summit is scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday.Trump has no meeting scheduled, as of now, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the summit host.
Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have moved to build bridges after a diplomatic flare-up threatened to derail Nato talks hosted by Boris Johnson.
The US president earlier denounced a claim by Mr Macron that the alliance was suffering from “brain death” as “very insulting” to other member states.
But when the two men met later at the US ambassador’s residence in London, Mr Trump acknowledged the need for greater “flexibility” in the way in which Nato responded to global threats.
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Mr Macron in turn accepted the US had “over-invested” in the alliance for “decade after decade” – a long-standing gripe of the US leader.
Mr Macron’s original comments were prompted by the Turkish offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria – regarded by most Nato members as key allies in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS).
He complained the US had effectively given the green light for the incursion – withdrawing its troops from the region – without any consultation with European allies, despite the wider consequences.
At a breakfast meeting with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Trump said it had been a “very, very nasty” statement by the French leader.
“Nobody needs Nato more than France,” he said. “That’s why I think when France makes a statement like they made about Nato, that’s a very dangerous statement for them to make.”
Nato turns 70: the biggest threats facing the alliance
Trump hits back at Macron’s criticism of ‘brain dead’ military alliance as ‘very, very nasty’Under the Nato system of collective defence, the 29 member states pledge to come to the aid of one another in the event of attacks, yet tensions have been growing between a number of these supposed allies.
When they met later, Mr Macron insisted he stood by his original remarks, while acknowledging US concerns that other allies had not borne their fair share of the financial burden for collective defence.
He cited the US unilateral withdrawal from the INF treaty with Russia banning medium range missiles as well as the threat of terrorism as reasons why “strategic clarification” was needed over the way Nato delivered long-term peace in Europe.
“The common enemy today are the terrorist groups. I am sorry to say that we don’t have the same definition of terrorist around the table,” he said.
“When I look at Turkey they are now fighting against those who fought with us against Isis and sometimes they work with Isis proxies.
Trump criticises European allies ahead of NATO's 70th anniversary summit
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at European allies before a NATO anniversary summit in London on Tuesday, singling out France’s Emmanuel Macron for “very nasty” comments on the alliance and Germany for spending too little on defence. Underlining the breadth of strife in a transatlantic bloc hailed by its backers as the most successful military alliance in history, Trump demanded that Europe pay more for defence and also make concessions to U.S. interests on trade.The attack echoed a similar tirade by Trump ahead of NATO’s last summit in July 2018.
“It is still an issue and it is a strategic issue. I do believe we need strategic clarification – how to deliver long term peace in Europe.”
Mr Trump said they had had a “very good discussion”, and welcomed Mr Macron’s comments about financial burden-sharing.
“I appreciate you saying the United States for decades has really been paying proportionately way, way too much for Nato and other countries paying far too little,” he said.
He said they had both agreed on the need for more flexibility in the way that Nato operated.
“A lot of people say it was originally meant to look at the Soviet Union, now Russia, but we also have other things to look at whether it is radical Islamic terrorism, whether it is the tremendous growth of China,” he said.
The meeting of Nato leaders was being held to mark the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
Mr Johnson hosted talks with Mr Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the main gathering in an attempt to iron out some of the differences between them.
London NATO summit begins as tensions spike on either side of Atlantic
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. Trump, whoLate 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.
It came amid concern among European allies that the Turkish offensive in northern Syria had strengthened the position of Russia and of the Assad regime, while triggering another humanitarian crisis.
There was further alarm among alliance members when Mr Erdogan chose to purchase Russian air defence systems – seen as a further weakening of his commitment to the alliance.
Ahead of the talks, Downing Street said that Mr Johnson would use the meeting to appeal for alliance unity in the face of continuing strains.
“The PM will emphasise that all members must be united behind shared priorities so Nato can adapt to the challenges ahead,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
The formal Nato events will begin with a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen on Tuesday evening.
The main talks will then take place on Wednesday at The Grove, a country house hotel near Watford.
The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after the alliance last month declared space one of its operational domains alongside air, land, sea and cyber.
Trump calls Trudeau 'two-faced' at NATO summit as candid chat goes viral .
NATO leaders professed unity on Wednesday at a summit near London — but a spat over off-the-cuff chit chat at a royal reception rattled their show of solidarity. U.S. President Donald Trump branded the leader of America’s northern neighbor “two-faced” after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to gossip about Trump in comments caught on camera and microphone. Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, at Tuesday evening’s Buckingham Palace reception for NATO leaders.
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