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Questioned repeatedly about Trump's unpredictable demands, Macron injected a note of gravity, underlining that NATO's work is important, that it involves the lives of men and women - U.S. Corporal Joseph Maciel from California was killed in an insider attack in southern Afghanistan last weekend - and must not be taken lightly.
"Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart", the president tweeted.
He also announced Wednesday morning that the Canadian military will command a new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation training mission in Iraq, deploying up to 250 Canadian Forces members and four Griffon helicopters.
Trump's comments came amid reports that he had warned leaders at an emergency session that the United States could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions. And when he did, he soon used his turn to speak to stray from the scheduled topic and to return to his budget complaints in even stronger language.
"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters. No changes were apparently promised on how fast non-compliers like Germany would raise their military budgets, according to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev described the atmosphere on Wednesday as "not the most pleasant".
Still, European economies have been growing recently, making the 2 per cent of GDP target ever harder to achieve, and Trump's spending demand is at least in part aimed at drumming up business for the US defence industry. And she has been a steadfast defender of Ukraine, which saw its Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 and continues to contend with Russian-backed separatists in its eastern region.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday told CNN that the organisation's member countries have committed to defence spending at two percent of GDP, but would not confirm US President Donald Trump's claim that the target was actually four percent.
"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", Trump said, adding that, in response, European countries agreed to up their spending. But he added that the talks had ended on good terms: "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly".
Donald Trump told a press conference that the United States were not treated fairly but now they are. According to European Union statistics, the EU's trade surplus in 2017 was $140bn (€120bn; £106bn). "It has created a new sense of urgency".
The EU Council leader said pointedly that when Mr Trump did meet Mr Putin on 16 July "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".
Freeland said she had a "good conversation" with the Danish foreign minister because the pipeline "is an issue that touches very much on Denmark".
Germany invested 1.24 percent of its GDP in 2017 and estimated to do the same in 2018.