Make peace great again: Brussels protests against Trump's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation visit

Trump NATO chief

President Trump Says He’ll Tell NATO ‘You Gotta Start Paying Your Bills’ Evan Vucci AP 5 Jul 2018

"What people are anxious about this trip is he'll have equally hard interactions with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts", including Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said James Goldgeier, a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at American University, who is an expert in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and security alliances.

Trump said Washington allocates about 4 percent of US economic output to defense spending while Germany has set a goal of 1.5 percent. "I'm glad that the President is talking to Vladimir Putin".

Germany's defense minister last week rebuffed Trump's twinning of trade and European defense spending.

Separately, U.S. Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters Thursday that the alliance is moving forward together, and "everyone has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent and an alliance that is unified" against threats like Russian Federation and China. Most of the non-US Nato members are moving closer to the entirely reasonable goals of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence and 20% of that on modern equipment.

The top German officials expressed their frank criticism in interviews with media published on July 6, one day after Trump told a rally of supporters that Americans have been "schmucks" for paying a large share of Germany's and NATO's defense bills.

Trump also said while the USA dedicates the bulk of the funding to the 69-year-old organization, Europe gets a lot more out of it than America. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier.

Speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin last March, President Donald Trump criticized his own aides who had tried to prevent the phone call from taking place, according to a report from the New York Times. At any rate, the Russian side is getting ready, and Putin is prepared to discuss the topic of Syria.

Huntsman stressed the importance of going in to any meeting with Russian Federation "with eyes wide open".

And the USA presidential Advisor for national security John Bolton visited Russia on June 27, said in Moscow that "this (the recognition of the Crimea part of the Russian Federation - approx. ed.) is not the position of the United States".

Woody Johnson, Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the president is aware of the planned protests but insisted that Trump "appreciates free speech" in both countries.

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