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John Kerry slams Trump's 'disgraceful' NATO remarks

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Former US has slammed Donald Trump's remarks at the NATO Summit, calling it "disgraceful" and "destructive" that went against America's interests.

At the NATO summit in yesterday, Trump shocked allies by demanding that members double their defence spending commitments. His surprise demand came after he clashed with Angela Merkel, calling a "captive" of because of its

"I've never seen a say anything as strange or counterproductive as Trump's harangue against NATO and It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the of America," Kerry said in a post yesterday.

Kerry, who served as the from 2013-17, said Trump makes public adversaries out of its friends, and turns US adversary, who has been attacking America's democracy, into his fawned-over ally.

He wondered why would an American president, whose first NATO meeting last year was a "disaster", show up in this year just to prove he "does not understand" how vital alliances have made a huge difference for the security of the and the lives of Europeans.

Reminding that NATO stood shoulder to shoulder with the after the 9/11 attacks, Kerry alleged that Trump has "set back" with his NATO speech and "steadily destroying" the country's reputation in the world.

"He is undermining our interests. He diminishes alliances we built to safeguard an economic and strategic force that has allowed millions of people to live in freedom. Moreover, he displays a woeful ignorance of the work his predecessor's administration did to increase European defense spending.

"(Former) President (Barack) Obama raised the issue in a constructive and collegial way that succeeded in securing a pledge from NATO members to increase their defence spending, without undermining the cohesion of the alliance in the process," Kerry said.

He said nations have been increasing their contribution each year, even as they have taken a hit to their own economies by putting in place tough sanctions against for its behaviour in

He said Obama and him used effective diplomacy not bombast and demagoguery to secure those sanctions in the first place. "Instead, President Trump just insults friends who have sacrificed to hold that pressure together."

There is a time, place, and manner for raising issues with allies, and trashing them on camera in a way that calls into question the alliance itself is not it, Kerry added.

He described Trump's behaviour at as not being of a strong,

"Enough. This isn't good for the United States and there are people across the aisle as the vote yesterday clearly showed who know it and need to say it," Kerry wrote.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 08:00 IST