Merkel says Germany will spend more on arms

World | 17 Feb 2017 11:00 pm

Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will stick to its long-term commitment to raise defense spending to levels agreed with NATO partners _ but no hurry about it. 

Merkel said that "Germany is conscious of its responsibility'' to spend more on arms but added other issues are also important for global security. 

She said Germany would stick to the long-term goal of raising defense spending to 2 percent of economic output by 2024. 

Merkel spoke today when she and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for NATO allies to carry more of the financial burden. NATO members agreed at a 2014 summit in Wales that countries not currently meeting the 2 percent goal would do so over a decade. 

Merkel said Germany had increased defense spending by 8 percent in this year's budget over last year. "We must do more here, no question, but the matters of development aid and crisis prevention are also important,'' she said. 

She said that that NATO was also important for the United States and served to strengthen U.S. influence in world affairs.-AP

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