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Tuesday, 03 December 2019 07:24

Trump criticizes European allies before NATO anniversary meet

Written by Reuters
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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at European allies before a NATO anniversary summit in London on Tuesday, singling out France’s Emmanuel Macron for “very nasty” comments on the alliance and Germany for spending too little on defense.

Underlining the breadth of strife in a transatlantic bloc hailed by its backers as the most successful military alliance in history, Trump demanded that Europe pay more for defense and also make concessions to U.S. interests on trade.

The attack echoed a similar tirade by Trump ahead of NATO’s last summit in July 2018. It will add to the growing doubts over the future of the 29-member alliance, described last month by Macron as “brain dead” in the run-up to a London meeting intended to be a 70th anniversary celebration.

“It’s a tough statement, though, when you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to essentially 28, including them, 28 countries,” Trump told reporters as he met the head of NATO in London.

“Nobody needs NATO more than France,” he said, adding that France, where Macron is seeking to push through delicate reforms of its large state sector, was “not doing well economically”.

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