President Donald Trump has arrived for a Nato summit in Brussels with a stark warning from European Council President Donald Tusk ringing in his ears.
Ahead of his visit, Mr Trump hit out at the EU on trade and at his Nato allies for failing to spend enough on defence.
Accusing the president of criticising Europe “almost daily”, Mr Tusk said the EU spent more than Russia on defence and as much as China.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many.”
Mr Tusk also said that the US did not and would not have a better ally than the EU, reminding the president that it was European troops who had fought and died in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
Meanwhile, Nato figures released on Tuesday showed the extent of the shortfall in defence spending being highlighted by the US president, with 24 of Nato’s 29 members forecast to fall below the alliance’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defence in 2018.
By Tara McKelvey, BBC White House reporter