Donald Trump arrived in Italy Friday for his first meeting as President with leaders of the world's biggest economies amid a cloud of controversy at home and an increasingly adversarial tone between Washington and key European leaders following yesterday's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.
"Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defence", the president said as fellow leaders looked on grim faced. "But some issues remain open, like climate and trade", Tusk told reports after meeting with visiting US President Donald Trump.
And while the president's persistence on this issue irks some European allies, NATO's Secretary General agreed members must spend more with terrorism being a worldwide threat.
"We insisted on the importance of having free and fair competition", Juncker told reporters.
On burden sharing, he said, "In 2015, defense cuts came to a stop". The EU has had strained relationship with Mr. Trump who supported Brexit and at one point expressed doubts about the EU and said countries would follow Britain in leaving the union. And the new French president pushed Trump on a sweeping climate agreement and even engaged in an apparent handshake stand-off.
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But the severe ticking off he gave alliance members risks souring relations even more.
Trump, on his first overseas trip as U.S. president, on Thursday met with Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, both of whom have been critical of Trump's remarks in the past.
"Every US President since Truman has pledged support for Article 5-that US will defend Europe. We need to find better ways of cooperating to ensure our security", Lamberts said.
It's one thing to fund your military.
"Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever", Trump said, referring to Monday's suicide bombing in the English city that killed 22 people, including children.
"With continued engagement by both sides, and with the political will to prioritize long-term gains for our economies and our broader relationship, the United States and the European Union could achieve what we set out to do in 2013: conclude an ambitious, balanced, comprehensive, and high-standard agreement that strengthens the transatlantic partnership and builds upon our economic relationship in ways that raise living standards and increase competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic", the report read.
Analyst Thomas Wright of the Washington-based Brookings Institution said Trump's failure to publicly declare this was "shocking and damaging".