US President Trump, First Lady Melania Board Marine One On Route to NATO Meeting
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania trump board Marine One from the White House to begin his trip to the NATO leaders’ meeting in London, Monday, December 2.
READ MORE: As Britain prepares for the NATO leaders' meeting outside London on December 3-4, the alliance said Thursday it has agreed to redistribute costs and cut the U.S. contribution to its central budget.
NATO's central budget is relatively small at around $2.5 billion a year, mostly covering headquarters operations and staff, and different than its defense budget. U.S. President Donald Trump often criticizes what he says is inequitable burden-sharing, with only nine of the 29 member countries meeting the 2% of gross domestic product target for the alliance's defense spending.
Regarding the central budget, "The U.S. will pay less, Germany will pay more, so now the U.S. and Germany will pay the same," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Paris on November 28.
Additionally, Leaders of the 29 member states will attempt a show of unity during the summit, but the alliance is facing questioning about its relevance and unity, particularly after the October withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, a move Trump made without consulting NATO.