President Donald Trump has faced fierce opposition to his plans on NATO from Germany and France
The fightback from the European countries comes ahead of the embattled US president’s visit to the alliance headquarters on May 25.
Mr Trump has repeatedly said that he wants Nato to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, in line with his calls for the alliance to do more to combat terrorism.
But many alliance members hoped the plan would be announced in Brussels next Thursday, when Mr Trump will attend his first Nato summit.
All of Nato’s 28 members belong to the anti-Isis coalition of 68 countries.
Regardless, Mr Trump will be met by France and Germany’s misgivings on his advanced plan to battle terrorism, according to sources.
Among the concerns are that Nato might be caught up in another costly, Afghan-style, deployment.
They do not want to repeat the long mission that NATO has undertaken in Afghanistan, taking over the United States' bid to defeat militants in 2003 after the attacks on New York and Washington two years earlier.
A senior European Nato diplomat said some other nations, including Italy, were also wary of the plan.
The diplomat said: ”They want to know what difference would it make. All 28 NATO allies are already part of this effort.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the press prior to the EU Foreign Affairs meeting
French and German officials declined to comment on the move, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel left open the possibility of Nato as an institution joining the coalition when she met the defence group’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week.
However, both ruled out any combat role for Nato in Syria and Iraq.
France's new President Emmanuel Macron will have lunch with Mr Trump before the Brussels meeting next Thursday.
France, led by Emmanuel Macron, is another country that opposes Trump's vision for Nato
It comes after The US president withdrew his assertion that Nato was 'obsolete' last month because it was not 'taking care of terror'
While Islamic State is on the verge of defeat in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, and bracing for an assault against its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, U.S. officials are concerned fleeing militants could leave a vacuum that could prompt Arab tribal fighters to turn on each other to gain control.
US officials say the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as an institution could contribute equipment, training and the expertise it gained leading a coalition against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
General Petr Pavel, chairman of the alliance's military committee, said Nato military chiefs favour the move.
Diplomats said this could mean Nato using its surveillance planes over Syria, running command-and-control operations and providing air-to-air refuelling.
One compromise would be for Nato as an institution to formally join the coalition at the dinner with Mr Trump next week, but leave the details of any involvement to a later stage.
A second NATO diplomat said: ”If allies can be convinced that it is only a symbolic step, a deal should be possible.
"Trump goes home with a message that Nato is joining the coalition and Nato doesn't have to do anything extra, at least for now."
NATO meets Donald Trump months after he described it ‘obsolete’
Wed, April 12, 2017
The White House says the President will use the meeting as an opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to NATO
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U.S. President Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington
Mr Stoltenberg has talked about Nato’s "untapped potential" in building up armed forces.
Options include more Nato training of Iraqi troops and police, as well as strengthening government departments in areas taken back from Islamic State.
Hans Binnendijk and David Gompert in a paper for the US think-tank RAND Corporation said: ”Nato is the only security organization with the skills and breadth to take on this task.”
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