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NATO spending target not some'fetish for Germany Merkel Germany to Increase NATO Defense Spending Amid US Pressure to Pay Fair Share
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 03:35

His comments come following harsh words from Merkel over Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Iran nuclear deal, which the German leader said was making the Middle East situation "even more hard", The Independent reported.

Angela Merkel supported the objective of 2% on defense.

The target was not "some fetish", but reflected changing security requirements in the world, Merkel told senior military officers.

"The question is whether you can talk better if you terminate an agreement or if you stay in it ... we say you can talk better if you remain in it".

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The appropriate level of military funds has become the subject of heated discussion in the governing grand coalition, with defense minister Ursula von der Leyen demanding a further increase to at least 1.5 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) or around 60 billion euros. Von der Leyen, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, has insisted that the military needs more funding. These now call for spending on the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, to rise in 2019 as a percentage of economic output but fall thereafter.

According to von der Leyen, before the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, the government intends to disclose details regarding the increase in defense spending. "Rather, fulfilling our worldwide commitments plus the defense of the alliance and our country make such an expense necessary".

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

Critical ministry and parliamentary reports this year showed that missing spare parts and quality defects had curtailed the readiness of German submarines, warplanes and other key weapons after years of declining spending after the end of the Cold War.