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

U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as they arrive at Melsbroek Military airport in Melsbroek, Belgium, Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

He adds: "I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing".

US President Donald Trump laid the ground for a fraught Nato Summit on Tuesday as he set off for a week-long Europe trip.

With French and German officials urging member states to paper over their differences, EU President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to Trump yesterday, telling him "the USA doesn't have and won't have a better ally than the EU".

He's unhappy that some countries are still not meeting the goal of spending 2% of their GDP on defence, and has raised questions about America's continued commitment to the military alliance.

"Several European governments have concluded that they would have to build a European caucus inside North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", said Josef Janning, head of the Berlin office at the European Council on Foreign Relations. However, several, such as Poland and France are close to the mark.

"I would like to directly address President Trump, who has for a long time now been criticising Europe nearly daily, for, in his view, insufficient contributions to the common defence capabilities, and for living off the US".

The presidents and prime ministers in attendance will also be sure to address a logistical and transportation system across the European continent that desperately needs fix and streamlining.

Remaining signatories reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal
Tehran dismissed it is an orchestrated "false flag ploy", created to discredit Iran and overshadow Rouhani's trip to Europe.

"We'll see how that goes", he said of the summit with Putin to be held in Helsinki on Monday.

Despite that, USA officials told Reuters news agency the president was expected to reaffirm U.S. support for Article 5 of the Nato treaty, which states that an attack against one ally is considered an attack on all members.

Ms Hutchison expects Mr Trump to ask Mr Putin to stop sanctioning Russian acts of "hybrid warfare".

Looking for signs that the president remained committed to the alliance, Mr Stoltenberg pointed to a rise in American presence in Europe as well as a spending increase of 40 per cent on defence in Europe since the USA president's inauguration. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all", as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One presidential helicopter on the White House lawn.

"I would like to address President Trump.who for a long time now has been criticizing Europe nearly daily for, in his view, insufficient contributions to the common defense capabilities and for living off the U.S.", Tusk said."Dear President Trump, America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe".

Minutes later, Mr Tusk tweeted: "Dear Donald Trump". President Trump made the phone call against the wishes of his national security advisors.

European observers are anxious by Trump's linkage of the two issues, a position still based on a misunderstanding of how the alliance works.

Still they're trying, mostly, to be hospitable this week.

Trump said he had not spoken with May, adding: "Boris Johnson is a friend of mine. We pay far too much and they far too little", he said, before adding: "But we will work it out and all countries will be happy".


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