Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post in northern Iraq on Feb. 20 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Ryan Remiorz

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post in northern Iraq on Feb. 20 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS Ryan Remiorz

"That's all", said Macron, who also denied talk of Trump threatening to withdraw from the alliance.

Others say Congressional approval would be required - and would be unlikely to be forthcoming.

Several diplomats and officials said, however, that his undiplomatic intervention - including pointing at other leaders and addressing Merkel as "you, Angela" - had irritated many.

Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the United States president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods.

The US president praised himself as a "very stable genius" after allegedly convincing members to boost contributions beyond 2% of GDP. "Since Trump became president, US funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent".

But he said that since previous year around an additional 33 billion dollars, not including the United States, had been raised and it was now "unnecessary" to withdraw from the organisation.

Trump told leaders he wanted them all to hit that target by January, prompting consternation.

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The summit's joint declaration, signed onto by all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and issued Wednesday, made no mention of any new funding commitments.

Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, reporting from the Belgian capital, however, said that based on interviews with sources, "nothing it seems, in the closed-door meeting, was resolved". And we made clear, well, I made clear for myself and others also made it clear, that we are on this path, which is in our own interest and can make us overall stronger. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who was on the trip, said in an interview that he had particular concerns about the possibility of Russian media entities misreporting the outcome of any one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin. Macron said France, which previous year spent 1.8 percent on defence, would meet the target by the 2024 deadline.

"There was a commitment to reverse that declining investment and start moving toward 2% and that's exactly what we agreed with as a government when we came in".

Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

Mr Trump refused to deny that he had threatened to pull the U.S. out of the organisation, but said the atmosphere in the meeting was cordial. "Secretary Stoltenberg gives us total credit, meaning me, I guess, in this case, total credit".

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