Nato summit tackles Afghan conflict
Published: 04:34 PM, 12 July 2018
Daily Bangladesh Desk
Nato leaders are turning their attention to the conflict in Afghanistan, on the second day of a Brussels summit so far dominated by demands from President Donald Trump.
Taliban militants reportedly killed up to 30 soldiers in attacks on Afghan army posts on Thursday.
Mr Trump has urged Nato allies to commit at least 4% of their annual output (GDP) to military spending.
Nato states are currently working towards a target of 2%.
President Trump used Thursday morning`s meeting to demand that the 2% goal be met by 2019, according to reports.
Reuters news agency said he broke from "a carefully scripted session" about other Nato matters to emphatically restate his position.
Speaking shortly afterwards, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was a clear commitment to Nato from all attendees.
There has been concern that President Trump might quit the alliance.
Nato sources, speaking to Reuters, said Mr Trump denied making such a threat
Mr Trump`s early-morning tweets from Brussels had been typically critical.
The US leader has specifically singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending.
He has also accused the country of being held prisoner to imported Russian energy, saying it is "totally controlled" by Moscow.
EU figures suggest Russia is responsible for between 50% and 75% of Germany`s gas imports but gas makes up less than 20% of Germany`s energy mix for power production.
President Trump`s next stop after Belgium is the UK, where he will arrive early in the afternoon to begin a two-day working visit, which is expected to spark public protests.
What`s the plan for Afghanistan?
Afghanistan`s President Ashraf Ghani is present for the second day of talks, and Nato`s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hopes the bloc will agree to fund Afghan security forces until 2024.
Britain`s Prime Minister Theresa May has already confirmed that the UK will send 440 more troops to serve in non-combat roles in Afghanistan.
The US also committed an extra 3,000 troops to support Afghan forces in September 2017 - bringing its total to 15,000.
US officials have said Washington is planning a strategic review, a year after Mr Trump agreed to remain involved in the 17-year conflict.
The US-led invasion drove the hardline Taliban from power in 2001, as part of a crackdown on Islamist militants after the 9/11 attacks in the US.
Thousands of Nato troops were deployed and a long, bloody conflict followed as the ousted militants fought back.
In 2014, Nato formally ended the combat mission, handing over to Afghan forces, whom it had trained.
Since then, the Taliban have made substantial territorial gains across the country. A BBC study from January found the group is openly active in 70% of Afghanistan, and controls or threatens more territory than before the foreign troops left.
On Thursday, officials in Afghanistan said the Taliban had launched an attack on a number of army posts in the northern province of Kunduz.
Earlier, dozens of Islamic religious scholars met in Saudi Arabia to discuss Afghanistan`s war and called on the Taliban to renounce violence.
Is Nato still expanding?
Nato leaders will discuss the alliance`s ties with Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries want to join Nato, but their bids are not expected to make progress.
That is because Nato rules prevent countries with a border conflict from joining and both countries have disputes with Russia.
By contrast, a ceremony will be held for Macedonia after it was invited to begin accession talks on Wednesday.
What will Trump do in the UK?
He will spend time with the Queen and prime minister, before flying to Scotland to spend the weekend at his golf resort.
Thousands of people are expected to protest against his visit across the UK.
Mr Trump is due to hold his first summit with Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki, on 16 July.
He shocked some by quipping that the Nato gathering might prove tougher than next Monday`s summit with Mr Putin.
- Man Utd knock Chelsea out of FA Cup
- Bernie Sanders runs for president again
- AL chalks out programmes to mark Int’l Mother Language Day
- HC summons editor of Bangladesh Bank’r Itihash
- Fashion designer Lagerfeld dead at 85
- Pakistan warns India against military action
- Injury-hit Bangladesh seek consolation win
- BNP chalks out 2-day programme to mark Feb 21
- Boro rice seedling transplantation nearing completion
- Drug trader hurt in Chatmohor gunfight
- India shouldn`t play Pakistan in World Cup: Harbhajan
- 7 burnt in Khagrachhari gas cylinder blast
- 69 including drug traders held in Satkhira
- Day temperature may rise by (1-2)°C
- Mystery of ‘Skeleton Lake’!
- Kuddus Boyati hospitalized
- Katrina reveals she wants a boyfriend!
- Biswa Ijtema ends through Akheri Munajat
- World cannot leave us, says Huawei’s founder
- Get ready for Super Snow Moon tonight!
- Google search shows Pakistan flag as ‘best toilet paper’
- 7th span of Padma Bridge to be installed tomorrow
- 98, including drug traders, held in Khulna
- 49 women MPs take oath tomorrow
- 13 killed as truck rams into marriage procession
- DUCSU’s nomination papers distribution today
- ICC clears Sri Lanka’s Dananjaya to resume bowling
- Two robbers killed in Kushtia gunfight
- 16 states sue Trump over emergency wall declaration
- Areas where gas supply to remain suspended today
- All News »
- ‘Work with history of country’s Language Movement’
- Spain teeters on brink of snap election
- Net house potato farming gains ground in Rajshahi
- Pakistan summons Indian envoy to protest `baseless allegations`
- Another spell of gas suspension in Capital Tuesday
- BCL factional clash hurt 45 in JnU
- Biswa Ijtema begins tomorrow
- “AL not embarrassed of BNP’s case against polls”
- Drug trader hurt in Chatmohor gunfight
- Mithun`s fifty takes Bangladesh to 226
- 28 including drug traders held in Dinajpur
- Gas supply shutdown in Dhaka including Savar
- Pahela Falgun being celebrated
- Two drug traders held with phensedyl
- Ali, employee of Daily Bangladesh, injured in road crash
- Barcelona, Man City to play tonight
- NZ clinch ODI series 2-0 against Tigers
- “’Fagun Haway’ will inspire new generation in patriotism”
- Hong Kong stocks open lower
- Samsung to launch US retail stores in smartphone push
- Prominent poet Al Mahmud dies
- Tomorrow’s SSC exam deferred to March 2
- Last tributes to poet Al Mahmud at Bangla Academy
- 1st phase of nomination withdrawal ends today
- Bangladesh set 233-run target for NZ
- General Osmani’s 35th death anniversary today
- Bangladesh faces New Zealand in 1st ODI today
- Sadhan urges officials to brighten up govt image
- Navy Chief in UAE arms exhibition
- Robber killed in Jashore gunfight