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President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed NATO allies who were standing only feet away for not meeting their financial commitment of 2% from their GDP.
Trump began his speech by calling for a moment of silence for the victims of this week’s Manchester concert bombing.
“The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism. Innocent little girls and so many others were horribly murdered and badly injured while attending a concert – beautiful lives with so much great potential torn from their families forever and ever. It was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilization,” Trump said.
Trump is expected to get his way by having NATO sign onto his Saudi-US led coalition against terror and against ISIS Iran’s funding world terror, which was backed up by Israeli PM Netanyahu.
“The leaders of the Middle East have agreed at this unprecedented meeting to stop funding the radical ideology that leads to this horrible terrorism all over the globe,” Trump said. “My travels and meetings have given me a renewed hope that nations of many faiths can unite to defeat terrorism – a common threat to all of humanity.
What was supposed to be a diplomatic, make up session, turned into Trump badgering the heads of state of the NATO alliance — who stood only feet away and stunned into silence, some shifting uncomfortably and some whispering remarks to each other during his comments that they are not contributing 2% of their GDP towards the collective effort of defense of the alliance.
“Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations,” Trump chided.
Trump said that “23 out of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.”
“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years,” Trump said.
“Over the last 8 years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined. If all of the NATO members had spent just two percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves,” Trump said.
“Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats,” Trump said. “If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.” Trump said.
Trump also unveiled a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Trump also discussed Article 5 of the NATO charter, which is the pledge of all NATO members to come to the aid of any NATO member country that is attacked .
“It is truly fitting that these two artifacts now reside here so close together at the new NATO headquarters – and I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost. I refuse to do that, but it is beautiful,” Trump said, hinting again about NATO members not paying their fare share.
During his presidential campaign, Trump cast doubt on NATO, calling it “obsolete” and calling out 23 out of 28 NATO members who are not meeting their pledge to pay 2% of their GDP to fund NATO.