BELGIUM: Trump: NATO allies need 'to pay their fair share'

Allies wanted Trump to say that he unconditionally stands by NATO's Article 5, the principle that when one member is attacked, all members will come to its defense.

Markovic told a journalist in Brussels that it was only "natural" that Trump should be in the front row, as the United States is NATO's biggest member by far. "Many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years", Trump added.

The shove is one of several body language-related viral moments to emerge from Trump's first visit overseas as president. Markovic, looking stunned at first, quickly smiles and pats Trump's shoulder as a greeting.

"Several NATO allies also expressed that we have to invest in defense not just to please the United States, but we have to invest because it is in our interest to do so", Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO said.

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.

Normally, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit is an opportunity for reinforcing the bonds and commitments between members of an alliance that has kept America and much of the Western world safe since World War II.

White House official: Trump plans to pull US from Paris deal
In the days since, he has lashed out at leaders who expressed disappointment in their climate conversations with him in Sicily. He did not sign a joint statement articulating support for the accords at the G-7 conference.

Trump is expected to decide later if the U.S. will stay in the Paris Agreement on climate change and has been soft on Russia's aggression in Ukraine in past remarks.

Unveiling a memorial to the 9/11 attacks at NATO's new headquarters on Thursday, Trump also urged the alliance to get tougher on tackling terrorism and immigration in the wake of the Manchester attack. Endorsing measures to combat terror is expected to find easy agreement, especially after the attack on an English pop music concert killed 22 people Monday night.

Stoltenberg said the fact that Trump inaugurated a monument to 9/11 on Thursday and was willing to spend more on U.S. forces in Europe made up for his verbal omission.

"I'm disappointed that the President failed to reaffirm America's commitment to Article 5", the release stated.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Brexit was only mentioned in passing at the meeting, describing Brexit as "a real tragedy".

But while the Europeans greeted Trump warily, tens of thousands gathered in Berlin to hear his predecessor and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss democracy and global responsibility at a Protestant conference as the country marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

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