NATO goes to emergency session after Trump reportedly gets undiplomatic with Merkel


Trump Merkel

NATO leaders entered a special emergency session after President Donald Trump reportedly spoke very bluntly about his demands that the countries spend more on defense.
During the summit, Trump reportedly broke diplomatic protocol by calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, saying “Angela, you need to do something about this,” a source told Reuters.
Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin’s client relationship with Russia and increase Moscow’s influence.
Trump also demanded NATO countries up their defense spending immediately, and said all allies should eventually double defense spending to a wartime-like 4% of GDP.

NATO leaders entered a special emergency session after President Donald Trump reportedly spoke very bluntly about his demands that the countries spend more on defense.

During the summit, Trump reportedly broke diplomatic protocol by calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, saying “Angela, you need to do something about this,” a source told Reuters.

Leaders of Azerbaijan and Georgia, non-NATO members, were asked to leave for the emergency session.

Trump singled out Germany on Wednesday when he accused them of being “totally” controlled by Russia because Russia provides a large share of their oil and natural gas. Merkel fired back that Germany was independent and a strong NATO ally.

“The language was much tougher today,” a source told Reuters. “His harshest words were directed at Germany, including by calling her Angela –‘You, Angela.'”

Trump and other US presidents before him have pressed European leaders to spend more on defense to contribute to NATO, but Trump has consistently pressed an accelerated timeline.

NATO countries agreed to each spend 2% of their GDP on defense by 2024, but so far only a handful of countries meet that mark. Germany, Europe’s richest country, spends just 1.24% on defense, and it’s an unpopular topic there.

Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the US currently spends. Spending %4 of GDP on defense represents wartime levels of investment.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin’s client relationship with Russia and increase Moscow’s influence. Energy exports represent Russia’s main source of revenue, and Trump argues that the pipeline undermines NATO’s purpose, as it’s designed to counter Russian aggression.

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Source:: Business Insider

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