Trump, Merkel to meet at NATO summit: White House

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BRUSSELS, July 11, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – US President Donald Trump will hold a
one-on-one meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the NATO summit on
Wednesday, the White House said.

The encounter comes after Trump launched a furious attack on Germany at
the start of the alliance gathering, bitterly criticising Berlin for not
spending enough on defence and accusing it of being “captive” to Russia for
energy.

After Merkel, Trump will meet French President Emmanuel Macron. Both
meetings are expected to be held behind closed doors.

Trump got the two-day NATO summit in Brussels off to a divisive start with
his furious rant over breakfast with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He said Germany was “a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of
its energy from Russia”, taking aim at the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas
pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

The US leader also demanded Germany step up its defence spending
“immediately”, saying plans to increase budgets over the coming years are not
enough.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for
their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out
Germany for particular criticism.

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