War of words continues as Trump arrives for NATO Summit

EC President Donald Tusk has called on the US to “appreciate your allies”

War of words continues as Trump arrives for NATO Summit

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in Belgium, 10-07-2018. Image: AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

The US president has criticised his European allies over their NATO contributions as leaders gather for a two-day summit in Brussels.

Yesterday, Donald Trump warned that the US is “spending many times more” than its allies on defence – and claimed the US is losing $151bn in trade with the EU.

European Commission President Donald Tusk warned that the US “doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU.”

In a blunt message to the US leader he said “"it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.”

He also called on America to “appreciate your allies” adding “after all, you don’t have that many. The message doesn't seem to have got through.”

President Trump later tweeted again accusing the EU of making it impossible for American farmers and workers to do business in Europe adding, “then they want us to happily defend them through NATO, and nicely pay for it.”

NATO countries have committed to spending 2% of their GDP on defence by 2024, however only a handful are likely to reach the target.

The summit comes amid deepening tensions between the EU and the US over trade, the Middle East and climate change.  

President Trump is also visiting the UK on Friday and will attend a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.