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Trump pledges support for NATO, says transatlantic bonds strong
by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) July 6, 2017


US President Donald Trump publicly endorsed NATO's one-for-all-and-all-for-one mutual defence pact and insisted ties between Europe and the United States have never been stronger, in a keynote speech in Warsaw on Thursday.

"The United States has demonstrated not merely with words, but with its actions, that we stand firmly behind Article Five," Trump said, referring to the bloc's mutual defence commitment.

Brushing aside a surfeit of transatlantic spats that have erupted since Trump took office in January, the US leader insisted that the alliance is in rude health.

"The transatlantic bond between the United States and Europe is as strong as ever, and maybe in many ways, even stronger," he told a crowd of 10,000 in the Polish capital.

"A strong Europe is a blessing to the West and to the world," he said.

But he said that more defence spending was needed on the eastern side of the Atlantic, "for its own protection, and you know this. Everybody knows this. Everybody has to know this. Europe must do more."

NATO, Russia to hold fresh talks
Brussels (AFP) July 6, 2017 - NATO member states will hold another round of formal talks with Russia next week, an alliance official said Thursday, as relations remain strained by the conflict in Ukraine.

"A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) at ambassadorial level will take place on 13 July at NATO Headquarters in Brussels," an official said.

The official declined to give details of what might be discussed by the 28 member state ambassadors and their Russian counterpart.

The NRC met regularly until the Ukraine crisis plunged relations with Moscow into the deep freeze in 2014 but they resumed early last year after months of debate within the alliance over whether to meet would send the wrong signal to Moscow.

Since then, it has convened four times, the last in March when the ambassadors discussed the situation in Ukraine where Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and continues to back pro-Moscow rebels in the east.

They also discussed measures to avoid possibly dangerous misunderstandings after a marked increase in military activity on both sides driven by the fallout from the Ukraine crisis.

US-led NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia over its role in Ukraine but kept political channels of communication open.

SUPERPOWERS
China, US ties sour over N.Korea, Taiwan
Beijing (AFP) June 30, 2017
Relations between China and the United States soured on Friday as Beijing fumed over US arms sales to Taiwan and US sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North Korea. The sudden US actions and China's angry response mark a break from the friendlier tone that had emerged after US President Donald Trump hosted Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at his Florida resort in April. Chinese fore ... read more

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