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    German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference after the official welcome ceremony for the arrival of first troops of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battalion battle group in Rukla, Lithuania, on February 7 , 2017

    German Defense Minister Refutes Trump's Claim About Germany's Debts to NATO

    © AFP 2017/ Petras Malukas
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    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen stated that Germany does not have any debts to NATO refuting US President Donald Trump's allegations.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen refuted on Sunday US President Donald Trump's allegations that Germany owes NATO and Washington for defense.

    On Saturday, Trump wrote on Twitter that Germany owed "vast sums of money" to NATO, following the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    "There are no debts to NATO. It is wrong to associate the 2- percent military spending, which we want to reach in the middle of the next decade, only with NATO," von der Leyen was quoted as saying by the N-tv broadcaster.

    The defense minster stressed the need for a modern security concept so that the burden could be equally shared. This, according to von der Leyen, includes a modernized NATO and a European defense union as well as investment in the United Nations.

    The target of spending 2 percent of the GDP mandated by NATO was adopted at the Alliance's September 2014 Summit in Wales, with only five countries, including the United States, meeting the required standard, according to NATO figures. Merkel has repeatedly said that Berlin will fulfill its commitments concerning the military spending through 2024.

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    NATO, Ursula von der Leyen, United States, Germany
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