Trump says he will decide if China deal goes ahead

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

His frustration at a U.S. troop withdrawal in Syria in October that set the stage for Turkey's unilateral offensive into northern Syria prompted Macron to describe the alliance as "experiencing brain death", as he decried a lack of strategy.

Earlier, Ankara had vetoed NATO's defence plan for Poland and the Baltic states, supposedly over the USA refusing to support the same for Turkey, after Ankara suggested declaring Syria's YPG Kurdish militia a terrorist organisation.

The senior government official would not say whether the US sent a letter ahead of this week's summit in London.

Erdogan said he had spoken to Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone on Monday and agreed to discuss the military operation with Poland and the Baltic countries in London.

Trump is due to hold separate talks with Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte on the sidelines of the summit.

This year marks NATO's 70th birthday, but will see leaders attempt to fix the deep cracks showing in the military alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the mutual defence clause at the heart of the NATO pact, insisting it would respond to any attack on Poland or Baltic countries.

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"The president will also emphasise the need for the NATO Alliance to ensure its readiness for the threats of tomorrow, including those emanating from cyberspace, those affecting our critical infrastructure and telecommunications networks, and those posed by terrorism".

He said his trip would be focused on "fighting for the American people".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will seek to deflect questions about Canadian defence spending when he meets with fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders starting Tuesday by pointing to Canada's numerous other contributions to the military alliance.

The President, along with other world leaders, will be hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace later Tuesday evening.

Leaders will also agree a new 2021-2024 budget that reduces the USA contribution to fund the alliance itself. Leaders will issue a statement condemning Moscow's Crimea annexation and its military build-up, recommitting to the alliance's collective defence pledge.

Charles and the monarch will then join the politicians for a group photograph.

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