Trump arrives Brussels for NATO summit with 28 world leaders

President Donald Trump, who is on his first foreign trip as president of the United States, arrived Brussels for the NATO summit. During his 2016 campaign, Trump called the alliance “obsolete,” claiming it didnt do justice to the fight against  terrorism. In his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel he told that her Germany was  “owing vast sums”.

During the summit, the 28 leaders would have the recent Manchester Arena terror attack at the top of their agenda. Trump before the attack has tried to push NATO allies to commit to play a greater role to counter terrorism and the fight against ISIS.
President Trump has backtracked on his earlier statement, saying NATO was no longer was no longer obsolete and  NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has tried to offer Trump a peace offering by  promising that allies not meeting NATO’s spending target of 2 percent of GDP would develop individual plans by the end of the year, showing how they will reach that goal by 2024.
This is President Trump’s first NATO summit and it is expected that he will be brought up to speed on pending issues. Sophia Besch, NATO expert at the Centre for European Reform said, “It is not unusual for the first summit for a new US President to be a ‘get to know you’ summit, but there is a bit more at stake”.
But European allies took Trump’s “obsolete” comment seriously because of their dependence on America’s defense capabilities and contribution to NATO . The United states provides 73% of the organization’s budget and spends 3.6% of its own GDP on defense.
Other NATO members have a target of 2% of GDP on defense spending, but only a minority have met this target. She added: “Trump has never formally committed to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty because he doesn’t accept that Russia may be a threat to Europe.” President Trump is expected to commit to NATO, if the member states can show they are putting more effort into counter terrorism and burden-sharing. .

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