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The Latest: Trump Says NATO Will be Stronger

The Latest: Trump Says NATO Will be Stronger

Saturday, 27 May 2017 07:07 AM

TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Europe (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says NATO will be stronger because member countries have increased payments "considerably."

Trump tweeted Saturday, "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger."

NATO countries do not pay the U.S. or NATO directly. They spend domestically on weapons or other defense-related needs.

The president supports ongoing efforts to push member countries to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Only five members currently meet the target, but the other nations are committed to the goal by 2024.

Trump is meeting with leaders from the G-7 nations in Sicily.

He also tweeted, "Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion. First on the list, of course, is terrorism."

11:30 a.m.

Leaders of seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration more time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

A person familiar with the negotiations at the Group of Seven summit said that six members of the G-7 would stick with their endorsement of the Paris deal, and await a decision from the U.S.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the formal announcement.

The G-7 members were still wrestling over a statement on trade and whether it would condemn protectionism, as previous group statements have.

President Donald Trump has pushed back against earlier group statements opposing protectionism and has argued trade must be balanced and fair as well as free.

-By David McHugh

9:47 a.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off the final day of his first trip abroad with a meeting with Group of Seven and African nation leaders.

Trump is seated between Beji Caid Essebsi, president of Tunisia, and Mahamadou Issoufou, the president of Niger, for his first meeting of the day.

He was also spotted chatting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the session began.

It's the final day of the president's nine-day trip. He'll be returning to Washington, D.C. late Saturday.

9:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is in Taormina, Sicily for a second day of meetings with Group of Seven wealthy nation leaders.

Leaders from the G-7 countries were expected to gather at the San Domenico Palace Hotel on Saturday morning.

Trump is set to engage in discussions about the global economy and climate. He will also participate in a meeting with African nations, including Niger and Tunisia.

This is the final day of Trump's first official trip abroad.

After the G-7 summit of economically advanced countries, the president will address American troops on an Italian base before departing for home.

The G-7 includes the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

7:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump will return to Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, but his White House still sits under a cloud of scandal.

Trump will spend Saturday at the second day of the G-7 summit in Sicily, bringing to an end a nine-day trip that started in Saudi Arabia and Israel before moving on to Europe.

The trip has gone off without a major misstep, with the administration touting the president's efforts to create a new coalition to fight terrorism while admonishing partners in an old alliance to pay their fair share.

In Washington, though, a newly appointed special counsel is just beginning his investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Europe (all times local):12:15 p.m.President Donald Trump says NATO will be stronger because member countries have increased payments "considerably."Trump tweeted Saturday, "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments...
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2017-07-27
Saturday, 27 May 2017 07:07 AM
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