Germany has dismissed remarks by US president Donald Trump on the need for Berlin to increase its contribution to the NATO military bloc.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that Trump was wrong to assume that Germany and other NATO members have to spend the entire two-percent of their economic output on issues related to the , bloc, saying the money should also cover other military endeavors.
“Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS (Daesh) terrorism,” said von der Leyen in a statement, rejecting claims by Trump that Germany owes NATO and the United States “vast sums” of money.
“There is no debt account at NATO,” said the top German military official, adding that it is necessary for NATO members to have a “modern security concept” which included investment in other missions.
The statement came a day after Trump took to his Twitter account and urged Germany to accelerate efforts to meet NATO’s target, which is, as agreed in 2014, for all NATO members to spend two percent of their economic output on defense by 2024.
Trump said, one day after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, that Germany “owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”