Friday 17 November 2017

Germany rejects Donald trump's claim 'vast sums' owed to NATO

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
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

Germany has rejected Donald Trump's claim that the country owes Nato large sums for not spending enough on defence.

The US president tweeted on Saturday that "Germany owes vast sums of money to Nato and the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defence it provides to Germany!"

His comments came a day after his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which he described as "great".

Berlin's defence budget has long been below Nato's target of 2% of a member's gross domestic product.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that "there's no debtor's account at Nato," adding: "To tie the 2% of defence spending, which we want to achieve in the middle of the next decade, only to Nato, is wrong."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens as President Donald Trump speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens as President Donald Trump speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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