Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels Belgium Thursday

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 12, 2018.

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today since past year", Trump said during a surprise news conference Thursday.

As the United Kingdom grapples with its own future in the European Union, I hope that President Trump's visit will help to solidify the long friendship between our two great countries.

"I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening" and on Thursday he had been "probably a little bit more firm".

He said the USA commitment to NATO and members' pledges to mutual defense are "exactly as the president described it - 100 percent committed to NATO", Reuters reported.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called an emergency session of all 29 allies to address Trump's demands, and the U.S. leader said his hectoring had paid off.

"We are not going to finance it for them but we will make sure that they are able to get payments and various other things so they can buy - because the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything".

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Trump also demanded North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries up their defense spending immediately, and said all allies should eventually double defense spending to a wartime-like 4% of GDP.

After throwing hand grenades for a day-and-a-half behind the scenes, insulting allies, and questioning the military alliance's very reason for being, the media was preparing for Mr Trump to do the same in a formal press conference - albeit hastily arranged.

A new poll shows that a plurality of Germans favor a drawdown of US troops, and only 15 percent believe that Germany should raise its defense spending to 2 percent of GDP.

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before.

Arguing many countries feel NATO has been used to support US-led wars rather than protect the borders from a Russian threat, he said: "If NATO continues its policies, it would lose all the support it had in the past".

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation. "The United States is not going to take care of everything". "And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".

He may have got his way again - but what of Donald Trump's standing among the leaders?

During the summit, Trump reportedly broke diplomatic protocol by calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her first name, saying "Angela, you need to do something about this", a source told Reuters.

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