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
Bloomberg: Merkel Takes on Trump Over Demands for German NATO Spending
* German chancellor says she’ll keep focus on development aid
* U.S. president’s pressure on defense rankles German leaders
Chancellor Angela Merkel sharpened her tone against President Donald Trump’s demands that Germany spend more on defense, saying she’ll keep insisting that targets on development aid are just as important.
The U.S. administration has ruled out counting foreign aid toward the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product in member states on defense. Trump has said Germany owes “vast sums of money” on security.
As much as the U.S. government demands meeting NATO’s 2 percent defense spending goal by 2024, we will stand just as much by our 0.7 percent spending on development aid,” Merkel told an industry club in Hamburg on Friday. Germany spends about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense.
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WNU Editor: International aid and defence/national security spending are two separate files .... but apparently not in Germany.