In Pointed Letters, Trump Demands More Defense Spending From NATO Allies
The letters, which went out last month, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels.WASHINGTON — President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada, taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance.
U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, hours after he fiercely criticized German policy on defense spending and gas imports from Russia.
The tone of their remarks when they jointly addressed reporters afterward appeared businesslike, after Trump had said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.
Germany: Merkel pledges 'every effort' to avert US trade war
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that the European Union will make every effort to avoid a trade war with the United States.
"We're having a great meeting. We're discussing military expenditure ... talking about trade," Trump told reporters who were allowed in to the meeting room.
"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany," he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russia to Germany.
Merkel said she had discussed migration and trade with Trump and looked forward to further exchanges as the United States remained a partner of Germany.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Alastair Macdonald; editing by John Stonestreet
Merkel vows to work at "under pressure" U.S. relationship .
Chancellor Angela Merkel, vowing to stay in office despite stresses at home and abroad, said she would work on Germany's "under pressure" relationship with the United States but that Washington could no longer be relied on to deliver world order. At a wide-ranging news conference, Merkel described Germany's relationship with the United States as "crucial," even after U.S. President Donald Trump last week accused Berlin of being a "captive" of Russia due to its energy reliance.