Nato leaders yesterday vowed to stick together against threats from Russia and terrorism and recognised the challenge of a rising China, despite another summit overshadowed by US President Donald Trump’s angry outbursts.
The 29 leaders meeting outside London to mark the 70th anniversary of the Atlantic alliance agreed a joint statement despite divides over spending and strategy and sharp exchanges between several of the heads of state.
But the bad blood continued to the end of the two-day get together, with Trump branding Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” after a group of allied leaders were caught on video at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking the US leaders’ rambling press appearances.
Trump cancelled his planned final news conference to fly directly back to Washington, despite boasting of having convinced his European allies to boost defence spending and Turkey to drop its objections to the adoption of an updated defence plan for the Baltic states and Poland.
The second and final day of the get together began with the release of a video showing Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte joking together about how Trump had delayed the previous days meetings.
Trump criticised the Canadian leader for not meeting Nato members’ target of spending two percent of their GDP on defence.
“Well, he’s two-faced,” he said.
Only nine of Nato’s 29 members have reached the target agreed at its 2014 summit to spend two percent of their GDP on defence before 2024.