Trump blasts North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders for anti-terror, immigration efforts

Yolanda Curtis
May 27, 2017

"This is not fair to the people and the taxpayers of the United States".

Cohn spoke to reporters on Air Force One as Trump headed to the Group of 7 summit in Sicily. "And in many cases, we have no idea who they are", Trump said.

"Being in the coalition does not mean that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will engage in combat", he told reporters, adding that the decision taken by leaders of NATO's 28 allied nations aimed to send a strong signal to fight global terrorism.

"Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats", Trump said.

Separately, NATO members agreed to formally join the USA -led coalition battling Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, as the Trump administration wanted.

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said the "alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling".

Trade will also be a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States' guiding principle will be "we will treat you the way you treat us", suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed.

Some of the allies - particularly Eastern European nations deeply anxious about Russian aggression - were hopeful that Trump would state a firm commitment to NATO's Article 5 mutual defense agreement, which underpins the entire alliance.

Last year, only five of the 28 countries met the 2 percent goal: the U.S., Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Poland.

Brussels presented Trump with the first problems of a landmark foreign trip, including tense moments with the head of the European Union and with key ally Britain. Tusk, who previously has expressed concern about the new USA administration, said he and Trump agreed on counterterrorism, but did not see eye to eye on a number of other issues, including climate change, trade and Russian Federation. Trump was considered partial to Le Pen, though he did not endorse her. Trump and Macron discussed fighting terrorism, and Macron - echoing other Europeans and the Vatican - expressed hope that Trump will reverse his pledge to scrap the Paris climate deal.

Despite Trump having backed Britain's Brexit vote previous year, it was all smiles at the headquarters of the European Union as Trump met the bloc's top two officials, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker.

Nonetheless, European Council President Donald Tusk indicated, there was something less than a meeting of minds on trade and other issues - despite the cordiality of Trump's welcome at the new EU building which the former Polish premier informed him was popularly known as "Tusk Tower" in a nod to the former real estate developer's signature NY headquarters.

Trump also met with European Union leaders in Brussels.

Nonetheless, European Council President Donald Tusk indicated, there was less than a meeting of minds on trade and other issues, despite the cordiality of Trump's welcome.

Asked what the current administration position is, Cohn said, "Right now, we don't have a position".

Other reports by iNewsToday