10:23 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Czech soldiers set up security during a military advisory team training exercise at US Army Europe's Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Dec. 1

    Czech Republic to Tighten Military Ties With Germany, Boost Defense Spending

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    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her Czech counterpart Martin Stropnicky have signed an agreement on specific military cooperation, Czech media report.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) – The deal, signed on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, will ensure tight cooperation between the 4th Czech Rapid Deployment Brigade and the German 10th Armoured (Panzer) Division, Ceske Noviny said.

    According to Stropnicky, the Czech defense budget should reach 1.4 percent of the GDP by 2020. The country’s current defense budget stands at about 1.1 percent of the GDP.

    In January, Stropnicky said that the Czech Defense Ministry would spend some $7.1 billion over the next 10 years on upgrading the country's armed forces.

    Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Mattis said as quoted by AFP to his hat NATO members should increase defense spending by year-end.

    Mattis will then fly on to Germany to attend the annual Munich Security Conference from February 17 to February 19 where he will hold meetings with defense ministers with other major nations from around the world, the Defense Department release stated on Friday.

    He is expecetd to emphasize the continued commitment of the US government to the NATO alliance and to defeating Daesh, the release said.

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    military ties, spending, defense, Germany, Czech Republic
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