17:54 GMT01 December 2020
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    Speaking at the 2018 Munich Security Conference, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen touted the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact and berated Washington for the planned funding cuts related to the UN and international aid.

    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that she welcomes the EU's latest steps to develop mutual military collaboration.

    She also promised to increase Germany's military budget, in what was hailed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who said that EU cooperation was "not an alternative to NATO," but that it would "strengthen the European pillar within NATO."

    READ MORE: Germany, Netherlands Set to Create Joint Air Defense Unit to Fight Terrorism

    "There will be billions for defense… because we said we would raise the budgets one by one," Von der Leyen pointed out.

    Her remarks came after her speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference, where she specifically praised EU members for clinching an agreement on the establishment of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact.

    READ MORE: European Defense: US Will Prevent Germany From Seeking Regional Hegemony

    The document stipulates developing common defense equipment and improving military decision-making between EU countries.

    Referring to the US, Von der Leyer also told the 2018 Munich Security Conference that "it is a point of concern to us to see that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid and the United Nations."


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    collaboration, agreement, PESCO, military budget, 2018 Munich Security Conference, NATO, EU, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany
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