Offbeat Trump, Merkel meet at NATO after he slams Germany

17:36  11 july  2018
17:36  11 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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The German media slammed Trump for his behavior. But they seemed to think the meeting went well otherwise. Merkel said disingenuously that she was “gratified to know” how “important” Trump feels NATO is. He didn’t quite say that.

— President Trump criticized Germany on Saturday for paying too little to both NATO and the United States for security support, a day after he held a chilly meeting at the White House with Chancellor Angela Merkel that showcased the two leaders’ disagreements.

U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a bilateral meeting during the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. © Kevin Lamarque U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a bilateral meeting during the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, hours after he fiercely criticized German policy on defense spending and gas imports from Russia.

The tone of their remarks when they jointly addressed reporters afterward appeared businesslike, after Trump had said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

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Read more: US- German conflicts — what you need to know. Merkel hits back. 'Dear America, appreciate your allies'. Trump 's stinging criticism of Germany during a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg came less than a day after he exchanged stern words with

“ Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany !” Trump told his almost 27 million Twitter followers early Saturday. The president wrote that he ’d had a “GREAT meeting with” Merkel

"We're having a great meeting. We're discussing military expenditure ... talking about trade," Trump told reporters who were allowed in to the meeting room.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany," he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russia to Germany.

Merkel said she had discussed migration and trade with Trump and looked forward to further exchanges as the United States remained a partner of Germany.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Alastair Macdonald; editing by John Stonestreet

Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue .
Lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution supporting NATO, as President Trump continues to criticize members. The measure expresses the Senate's support for the body and calls on negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO.The 97-2 vote in the Senate comes as Trump heads to Brussels for the NATO summit. He will also travel to the UK and meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during his trip.GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure, according to Defense News.Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) proposed the measure, calling the U.S. support for NATO "ironclad.

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