May 21, 2018

Germany eyes goal of 1.5 percent defense spending by 2025

18 May 2018, 12:38 | Taylor George

Germany plans to increase defense spending

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

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the objective of 2% on defense, but avoids predictions when this goal can be achieved.

Merkel used her annual budget speech to Parliament to affirm Berlin's position on the issue, listing the US pullout among several pieces of "troubling news" - along with recent chemical attacks in Syria, violence in Gaza and daily cease-fire breaches in Ukraine.

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Merkel, however, stressed that transatlantic relations should stay unaffected by the U.S. move, noting the paramount importance of these ties for Germany and its national security interests.

Merkel told lawmakers that Germany's economy is on a good path and the government plans to increase its spending on defense and scientific research to ensure the country can meet the security challenges of the future and remain a leading industrial power. "However, transatlantic relations have to overcome the difference in approaches in these very days, first of all, against the backdrop of the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty with Iran", she added.

She added: "Britain, France and Germany were of the opinion that the agreement against Iran's nuclear armament is an agreement that certainly has weaknesses, but an agreement we should stand by". In particular, the European Union and Iran would maintain and deepen economic ties, including in the area of oil and gas supplies.

Germany's defense minister says Berlin will raise its military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025 — far short of the 2 percent goal demanded of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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