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From EU's Donald To US' Donald, "Dear Trump, Appreciate Your Allies"

From EU's Donald To US' Donald,

"I have the United Kingdom, which is in somewhat turmoil", said Trump, referring to shaken Brexit negotiations and the recent departure of several officials due to Prime Minister Theresa May's handling of Brexit negotiations.

Similarly, earlier on Tuesday the president tweeted, "Getting ready to leave for Europe".

Trump, who landed in Belgium during the middle of the soccer-mad nation's World Cup semifinals match, will later head to London, where Prime Minister Theresa May's government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union.

European leaders say they no longer have any illusions about Donald Trump as they welcome the USA president at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit this week, but they fear his "America first" agenda may force a moment of reckoning that works to no one's benefit. "The US is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them".

The President also called former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who resigned Monday - "my friend" - just days before he is due to meet with Mrs May during his first visit to the United Kingdom as president.

USA ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that Trump would also recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO - Article 5 - which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all. Putin reportedly has been telling Trump that "fake news" and the "deep state" are conspiring against them.

NATO's European allies have spent more on defense for a second consecutive year in 2017 but the majority of them still failed to meet the target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

Trudeau, who was called "weak" by Trump after the G7 meeting, pledged to boost Canadian troop numbers 540, from around 450 now.

More news: BMC take team time trial, Froome back in contention

Responding to Mr Trump's comments, Mrs May's official spokesman said: "This is something that the President has said on other occasions".

"We do have a lot of allies, but we can't be taken advantage of", he said.

When asked about the president's tweets, Hutchison said the US portion of NATO's common funding is capped at 22 percent, but that the USA contributes to other security costs in Europe, where it has military and diplomatic presence. Trump declined to go with either option, calling Putin a "competitor" instead.

Mr Trump has been accused of not really understanding the funding.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on July 16.

At a reception in June celebrating 100 years of American and European partnership in Brussels, Washington's top diplomat to the European Union, Adam Shub, sought to highlight common ground, even on issues such as trade and Iran.

In this context, Tusk and others seem concerned Putin will take advantage of the fact that Trump is not standing by key USA allies.

Europe's biggest economy is on course to spend just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence in 2018.


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