It is not so unpleasant: NATO avoids a summit of car accidents

* As leaders leave, little sign of acrimony * The leader of the USA UU. He was exceptionally conciliatory: diplomats * Trump praises NATO as more flexible * Merkel reports good discussion about substance * The wise review will examine future challenges By Robin Emmott and Michel Rose WATFORD, England, Dec. 4 (Reuters) - He was preparing for a repeat of the disastrous NATO summit in July 2018, when US President Donald Trump unleashed a rant against European allies and threatened to take the United States out of the transatlantic military alliance forged after World War II French President Emmanuel Macron had surprised other leaders in the period before Wednesday's meeting at a farm outside London by declaring that NATO was experiencing brain death, a comment Trump described as very, very unpleasant. But in their three-hour session, the leaders agreed to appoint a group of experts to conduct a strategic review for two years to prepare the Western alliance for the future, and when they were heading home there was little evidence of the public aggression that had taken place. preceded its summit Diplomats said the brain death debate was key to avoiding a raid, possibly encouraging Trump to have a more positive view of the alliance than in the past. Amid the dismay over Macron's comment, France and Germany proposed a study of the future of NATO last month by a group of wise men. His idea was vague, but, according to a senior NATO diplomat, the general secretary of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, took advantage of it to get some heat out of the summit. It was very useful, said a Macron advisor. If I had not provoked this debate, they would have come here, provided by the Queen and ... they would have gone home even though we are going through a challenging international moment. Macron himself told reporters that the outcome of the summit demonstrated the usefulness of our comments, and was compared to an icebreaker that crosses icy seas. Leave broken ice but also open a passage, he said. A Lighter TRUMP The diplomats attributed the relative success of the meeting to Trump's behavior, who throughout the 2018 summit questioned the value of NATO in tweets and rebuked the allies for not spending enough on defense. In addition to a complaint that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had two faces after a hot microphone caught him making fun of the president of the United States, diplomats said Trump was unusually conciliatory. At a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she complained slightly that Berlin was slightly below the target for NATO allies to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. I can only say that we had a good discussion about the merits, Merkel told reporters. We had room for other more strategic questions. I had the impression that mutual understanding of different geographical situations is growing. A European diplomat said we saw a very soft Trump, and another said he was more a team player than a disruptor. US officials said Trump has been placated by increases in defense spending by NATO allies, and other leaders appear to have learned to deal with their mercurial nature at such events. Trump faces impeachment problems in his country and must stick to what is expected to be a tough battle for re-election next year. Would you be interested in starting international clashes in a context of internal political campaign? I don't think that's worth it, said the second diplomat. Once a relic of the Cold War, and for a long time criticized for not meeting security challenges such as global terrorism, the alliance found a new resolution on its eastern flank after the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. But Turkey's operation in Syria in October, against the wishes of the allies, and Trump's zigzagging position on NATO have led diplomats to question the broader alliance strategy. In their final statement, the leaders said they were considering the evolving strategic environment and commissioned Stoltenberg to report, probably next April, with plans for a prospective reflection process. The ideas raised by diplomats include the development of NATO's original mandate, since its founding in 1949, to protect Europe and North America, to potentially cover new areas such as the eight-year civil war in Syria and the Middle East. Some diplomats said the reflection runs the risk of being long and could turn NATO into another political club without legislative powers, making statements about conflicts beyond its control. However, Paris and Berlin say they want an alliance that is more agile, and Trump, who once described NATO as obsolete, praised it at the summit as more flexible. (Additional report by Steve Holland and Andreas Rinke Written by John Chalmers, Edition by William Maclean) This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)