Germany Rejects Trump's Claim it Owes NATO 'Vast Sums'

Germany’s security dilemma Realpolitik rediscovered

Mr Trump is hosting Angela Merkel at the White House today, with the world's media watching on. "Defense spending also goes into United Nations peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against ISIS terrorism", von der Leyen said.

The NATO annual report said only five countries met the two-percent target-the United States, Britain, Greece, Poland and Estonia-while Washington still accounted for almost 70 percent of combined alliance defense spending.

German defence spending is set to rise by 1.4 billion euros to 38.5 billion euros in 2018 - a figure that is projected to represent 1.26 per cent of economic output, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said.

The statement came a day after Trump wrote on his twitter saying "Germany owes vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"

Now, it appears, Germany has had enough of Trump's shenanigans.

"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel", he tweeted.

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The defense minster stressed the need for a modern security concept so that the burden could be equally shared. Merkel has repeatedly said that Berlin will fulfill its commitments concerning the military spending through 2024.

"Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is unfair to the United States". But members Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg still spend less than 1 percent of GDP on defense. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark are three other small spenders on defense.

"America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense", he said last month. Roughly 810,000 Americans are employed by German companies in the US and Washington is Germany's third most important trading partner, after China and France.

"None of our partners would understand it if we didn't manage to do our part while poorer countries have to tighten their belts to meet the target", Von der Leyen said.

This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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