Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Politico: Merkel: Germany stands by NATO spending pledge despite SPD doubts
Chancellor’s comments come two weeks before Trump attends alliance summit in Brussels.
BERLIN — Germany will stick to its pledge to increase military spending to 2 percent of GDP, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, taking a swipe at her junior coalition partner and election rival.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded that European allies increase their military spending so that the United States shoulders less of the financial burden for the Continent’s security umbrella.
However, German Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz said last month he did not take the view that NATO members were obliged to reach the spending goal, which was included — with phrasing that left room for interpretation — in a declaration by alliance leaders at a summit in Cardiff in 2014.
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WNU Editor: I am sceptical of German Chancellor Merkel's vow to meet these commitments, especially in view of her past comments that foreign aid should be treated as defense spending .... Germany Is Insisting That Their Foreign Aid Contribution Be Counted As 'Defense Spending' (May 6, 2017).