MIAMI (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump attended his first NATO summit in Brussels since taking office. It’s an organization he once called obsolete but later backtracked on that comment.
The president wants the organization to commit more troops to the fight against terrorism but differences remain over Russia and allegations of leaks in the wake of the deadly Manchester attack.
President Trump got down to business during a working dinner with leaders of NATO’s member nations, criticizing those that do not pay their fair share toward defense spending.
“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” said Trump.
In a second blow, the president declined to commit the United States would stay in NATO’s mutual defense pact.
He wants additional forces to join the roughly 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.
NATO has agreed to join the Obama-era coalition to fight ISIS, but stopped short of waging a direct war against the extremist group.
“If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, the NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism,” said Trump.
The president also held private meetings. After the meetings, the head of the European Council said disagreement still lingers over Russia.
“I am not 100 percent sure that we can say today — we means Mr. President and myself — that we have common position, common opinion about Russia,” said President of European Council Donald Tusk.
Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May had a cordial visit at the White House earlier this year, but their next visit could be contentious.
British officials are upset with the U.S. over the publication of leaked evidence – photographs from the scene of the Manchester terror attack.
“I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure,” said May.
Protesters demonstrated against President Trump’s visit outside the U.S. embassy in Brussels.
President Trump took off for the last stop of his first foreign trip in Sicily, Italy where he will attend the G-7 Summit.