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The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, on Sunday rejected Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes Nato and the US “vast sums” of money for defence.
Trump has urged Germany and other Nato members to accelerate efforts to meet Nato’s defence spending target.
Nevertheless, Germany owes…..Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) …vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!
“Defence spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against [Isis] terrorism,” Von der Leyen said.
In 2016, Germany’s defence spending ratio stood at 1.18%.
“There is no account where debts are registered with NATO,” Von der Leyen, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in a statement.
She also noted that NATO spending should not be the only criteria used to measure Germany’s military efforts.
His tweets came a day after Trump met Merkel in Washington, where the two leaders showed little common ground over a host of thorny issues, including NATO and defense spending.
Merkel said Berlin had committed to increasing its military spending to two percent of GDP, a target NATO member states formally agreed in 2014 to reach within 10 years.
Germany, whose wartime past has led it traditionally to be reticent on defense matters, currently spends 1.2 percent of GDP.
Germany rejects Trump claim: ‘There is no debt account at NATO’
Germany is disputing President Trump’s claim that it owes “vast sums of money” to NATO and the U.S.”There is no debt account at NATO,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, Reuters reported.
ADVERTISEMENT “Nevertheless, 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!”
“Defense spending also goes into U.N. peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against [ISIS] terrorism.”
The comments come after Trump on Saturday tweeted that Germany needed to pay more money to NATO.
In a joint news conference at the White House on Friday, Trump pushed Merkel to meet NATO’s defense spending target — 2 percent of the country’s budget.