Germany plans to increase defense spending

Germany to Increase NATO Defense Spending Amid US Pressure to Pay Fair Share

Germany to Increase NATO Defense Spending Amid US Pressure to Pay Fair Share

The conflict in Syria has taken an enormous scale and can not be settled without the participation of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Europe and other regional powers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

The latest one, according to an American ambassador to Germany, is that he showed his bedroom to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her last visit to the White House. She said it was clear that the German military needed to rebuild its stocks of equipment after years of declining spending.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the officers that military spending would expand to around 1.3 percent of gross domestic product by 2019 and should reach 1.5 percent by 2025.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, says he envisages the level staying roughly constant "in the coming years".

Experts said the jump in spending is a significant increase from the current percentage of 1.2-percent, but still short of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligation.

"The 2 percent is not a fetish that has nothing to do with the Bundeswehr, but it is necessary to allow us to fulfil the requirements of our worldwide deployments, plus the need for homeland and alliance defence", Merkel said.

She said situation will not improve after Washington's withdrawal from the deal.

While reiterating earlier criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, Merkel however argued that close transatlantic relations in this context retained value regardless of recent disagreements between the European Union (EU) and the Trump administration.

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