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NATO Summit: The Main Points

London played host to NATO Heads of State and Government.

On the 70thanniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s formation, world leaders, including Angela Merkel, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson met to take part in the annual NATO conference from the 3rdto the 4thof December, which this year took place in London.

Currently, there are 29 member nations and each sent leaders from their country to the summit. This year, events were held in Downing Street as well as Buckingham palace, where the guests were greeted by Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. In Johnson’s speech at the summit he emphasised the great solidarity he felt the NATO alliance had and celebrated what he saw to be “the most successful alliance in history”.

One of the issues the talks highlighted was the need for member states to contribute their fair share to NATO’s target with the goal being for members to spend 2% or more of their economic output on defence. On this issue, Johnson said he felt countries were making “real progress” towards this aim suggesting it could be achievable for all members to contribute this in the future. Adding to this, NATO chiefs agreed to appoint experts to launch a strategic review over the organisation in order to make sure that it’s running smoothly and is fit for the future.

The NATO summit wasn’t however without its divisions. Trump and Macron clashed over the state of NATO on the first day of talks as Macron criticised the coalition as suffering from “brain death” due to a lack of proper US leadership over the election – a comment which Trump found to be particularly damning.

Adding to this, outside of the event itself, protests took place against Trump’s visit with NATO as fears grew that Donald Trump would make a trade deal with Boris Johnson to privatise the NHS – an allegation which Johnson has continuously denied.

Following the summit, global press outlets attacked the divisiveness between Macron and Trump who they felt were placing their own national interests ahead of the collective ones of NATO. Adding to this, Canadian papers also blamed hostilities on arguments between Trump and Trudea with ‘The National Post’ stating it was “not really the finest moment for either leader”.

Yet despite all this negative press it was still felt that the summit helped bring nations together and work towards their financial contribution aims, even if world leaders clashed at points.

Lauren Mcgaun

Sources:

Featured image courtesy of GingerPower_ via Twitter

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