Despite his repeated criticism of the low military spending by US Allies during a two-day summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump said, “I believe in NATO”.
His recent criticism had raised concerns and doubts over the commitment of NATO troops.
The US President had repeatedly called on the Europeans, Germany in particular, to increase their military spending in order to meet their commitment to raise them to 2% of their GDP.
“I told them I would be very unhappy if they did not substantially increase their commitments because the US is paying a huge amount,” Trump told a news conference.
However, “it is not necessary” to threaten to leave the institution to convince them, he said.
The US president has instead preferred to salute the “immense progress” obtained, according to him, in their financial commitments.
“Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely dissatisfied with what was happening and they have significantly increased their commitments,” he said.
“When we reach 2%, we can start talking about going further,” he said, citing the figure of 4%, which he had already suggested to the Allies on Wednesday. “I think 4% is the right number.”
“Now we are very happy to have a very powerful NATO, very strong, much stronger than two days ago,” said the US president.
An opinion shared by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, according to which NATO emerged “much stronger” from this summit, especially because Donald Trump has “reaffirmed its commitment (…) to have a strong NATO”.
On Wednesday, on the first day of the summit, Mr Trump attacked in particular Germany, his favorite target, accused of being “completely controlled by Russia” because of its gas supplies, aiming at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
“I am very concerned about the pipeline, I do not like the gas pipeline,” he insisted Thursday.
“For me, it was a very important point of contention, we discussed it for a long time,” he added, adding that Germany had agreed to “do much better” in terms of military spending. she did it and we are very happy about it.
“I explained that in Germany we know we have to do more and we have been doing this for some time,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“But I also made it clear that we are the second largest supplier of NATO troops,” she added.
The White House tenant is due to visit the United Kingdom for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday before a historic bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
He assured that he would discuss with Mr. Putin the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
“We will ask questions about Syria, I will ask about interference, your favorite question,” he told a reporter.
“All I can do is say: + did you do it? + And + do not do it again + He can deny,” he said.
Vladimir Putin “is not my enemy (…) In the end, he is a competitor, he represents Russia, I represent the United States,” he said.
Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine
Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.
The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.
Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.
Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.
Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.
Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House
During a televised news conference on Monday, the United States president Donald Trump was escorted out in the middle of the briefing after Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who claimed to be armed outside the White House.
In a statement by the Secret Service stated that a 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, approached the officer, told him he had weapons and assumed a “shooter’s stance”, whereupon the officer shot him in the torso.
The Secret Service however did not say whether the man was armed, adding that “both the officer and the suspect were then taken to hospital”
The chief of the Secret Service Uniformed Division Tom Sullivan said the White House complex was not breached and no one under Secret Service protection was in danger.
Law enforcement officials were trying to determine a motive and authorities were investigating whether the man had a history of mental illness.
Earlier, Trump had just begun a Coronavirus briefing when a US Secret Service agent escorted him from the briefing room. The president returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”
Trump said, “there was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital.” The president said law enforcement had fired the shots and that he believed the individual who was shot was armed.
Lebanon’s Aoun Accepts Gov’t Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity
Just after the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut port, President Michel Aoun has accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.
Earlier on Monday in a televised evening address to the nation, Diab announced the resignation of the entire cabinet characterizing the detonation of highly explosive material warehoused at the capital’s port for the past seven years as being “the result of endemic corruption.”
Diab calling for the trial of those responsible for the blast said “today, we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.”
The resignation came after protesters accused the country’s leaders of negligence and corruption leading to the explosion that killed at least 200 persons and wounding 6,000 others.
On Sunday, Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut after a second day of anti-government demonstrations.
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