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Germany will miss NATO spending target, Merkel confirms

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Germany will increase its defense spending but would not be able to meet NATO’s 2 percent goal by 2025, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday. informs citing AA.

Speaking at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin, Merkel reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to NATO goal agreed at the Wales summit in 2014, but said Berlin would not be able to meet this in middle-term.

“The Wales target was that, over the next ten years, our defense budgets would be developed in such a way that we go towards this 2 percent target. And we are doing this, there is no doubt about it,” Merkel said.

“But if we have to make a realistic assessment today, we would not be able to reach the 2 percent by 2025. One has to be honest, we are moving towards this goal, we accept this target, but we are also making realistic statements on this,” she added.

The Chancellor said Germany’s military spending will continue to increase in the next couple of years and reach to 1.5 percent of its national output by 2024.

President Donald Trump has long criticized NATO partner Germany and other allies in Europe for not doing enough for defense and trying to shift their responsibility to the U.S.

Merkel’s coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) had long been critical of plans to increase the country’s defense budget, and disputed NATO’s goal that each member should spend 2 percent of its national output on defense.

EU’s largest economy is currently spending 1.24 percent of its GDP for defense.

2018.06.15 / 22:55
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