BELGIUM: Trump: NATO allies need 'to pay their fair share'


"Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defence", Mr Trump said, standing by a piece of the wreckage of the Twin Towers at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that joining the US -led anti-Islamic State coalition "will send a strong political message of NATO's commitment to the fight against terrorism and also improve our coordination within the coalition".

"Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defense", Trump said, in what was supposed to be a ceremonial unveiling of a monument to the 9/11 terror attacks.

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Neither the alliance nor member nations pay the United States.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer had not seen the video but told the New York Times world leaders were gathering for a photo with a predetermined standing order.

After meeting with Stoltenberg, Trump met with European Commission leader Jean Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk.

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He said Trump had a few days ago signed a U.S. budget proposal to hike spending on U.S. forces in Europe by 40 percent, in what Stoltenberg called "the best demonstration of commitment to the alliance". A plan to reaffirm the spending pledge made three years ago "means nothing more or less than that", she said. As NATO leaders congregated, Trump forcefully slapped a hand on the shoulder of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, pushed him aside, and barreled his way through to the front of the group.

Trump's apparent insults of NATO-member spending came just days after a suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 and injuring dozens of others. Pictures of this encounter have sparked a reaction on social media, with users pointing out that Trump appears visibly uncomfortable in Macron's tight grip. I refuse to do that.

"It's only natural for the president of the United States to be in the front row", he said in a statement on the government website. "But it is attractive".

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