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January 19 2018, 05:33 | Jonathan Williams
US President Donald Trump has criticised the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies who, unlike Poland, have failed to meet their military spending obligations. Milan Knezevic, leader of Montenegro's opposition and anti-NATO Democratic People's Party, said by phone that Trump's behavior "is clear proof that there's no such thing as equality in NATO", showing that the country is just a "smudge" on the alliance's map.
Surrounded by stone-faced allies, President Donald Trump rebuked fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members Thursday for failing to meet the military alliance's financial benchmarks, asserting that leaves it weaker and shortchanges "the people and taxpayers of the United States".
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies do not have debts, but Stoltenberg said they had promised three years ago to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence by 2024 and that there was still a long way to go to meet that.
Trump now arrives in Sicily for the final leg of a nine-day, five-stop marathon, a G-7 economic meeting.
Merkel, who stood emotionless during the speech, earlier issued her own challenge to the U.S. president, saying that member states including Germany had already pledged to work toward the 2% target by 2024 and that outlays on security more generally also count towards the goal.
European Council President Donald Tusk said terrorism was one of the main topics between EU officials and Trump during his visit to Brussels, especially in the wake of the Manchester pop concert bombing.
In Brussels, Trump sat in a morning meeting with top European Union leaders.
"We insisted on the importance of having free and fair competition", Juncker told reporters.
"Some issues remain open, like climate and trade".
"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. He said unity must be found around values like freedom and human rights and dignity. And he sped across Brussels to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, where British Prime Minister Theresa May, the leader of Washington's closest ally, buttonholed him about her anger over intelligence leaks after Monday's terrorist attack in Manchester.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a G7 veteran who leads a strongly-export oriented economy, and France's new president Emmanuel Macron, a climate action champion, have some of the best credentials to challenge Trump.
"Having to reaffirm something by the very nature of being here and speaking at a ceremony about it is nearly laughable", Spicer said after the speech.