• Trump presses NATO on spending, terror

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    BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump will press his NATO allies on Thursday to increase defence spending and take a more active role in the fight against Islamist terror. Here are the expected main talking points during the brief summit at NATO’s new, futuristic headquarters on the outskirts of Brussels. Washington and top US political figures have been demanding that the allies share more of the defense burden since NATO was set up in 1949 to hold back the Soviet Union. Trump however has been unusually blunt, warning on the campaign trail he might first check whether an ally is up to date with its contributions before deciding to come to its aid. That apparently less than full commitment to NATO’s core Article 5 “all for one, one for all” collective defense commitment caused consternation in Europe. Dubbing NATO “obsolete” only added to dismay among allies who, marshalled by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, had committed to the biggest defense build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter a more aggressive Russia. At their 2014 Wales summit, NATO leaders agreed to allocate 2 percent of economic output to defence annually within a decade.

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