Saturday, June 16, 2018

Merkel says Germany cannot achieve NATO defense spending target

Germany cannot achieve NATO defense spending target
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that that Germany is increasing its defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024, which will miss NATO's target of 2 percent.

Merkel on Friday held talks with Stoltenberg who was Berlin for the preparation of the NATO summit of scheduled on July 11-12 in Brussels.

Germany increases the contributions for the equipment of the Bundeswehr, and also has made a strong promise of 1.5 percent of GDP of defense spending by 2024, said Merkel after the meeting, adding that "sometimes that seems too slow, but things are going in the right direction."

NATO members have agreed in 2014 to move toward the 2 percent guideline within a decade. Merkel said Germany complies with that, and added that "We accept this target, but we are also giving realistic information."

U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized Germany for falling short in defense spending and hoped Washington's European allies to take more responsibility in defense.

Stolbenberg said he is glad Germany's spending is rising but encouraged the biggest European economy to do more.

Stoltenberg said on the agenda of NATO summit are not only defense spending, but also relations with Russia and the fight against international terrorism.

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