Trump-Merkel meeting spurs NATO tensions

  • Ashleigh Templeton
  • 20.3.2017 18:45

US President Donald Trump asks for more NATO spending during his first face-to-face meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 17 March. Trump later insisted on Twitter that Germany still owed vast sums of money to the alliance that the US must be paid for the defence it provides Germany.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffan Seibert reaffirmed Germany’s previously pledged commitment to contribute 2 percent of its GDP to NATO by 2024, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen rejected Trump's claim, stating that there is no debt account at NATO and that German defence spending includes activities beyond the alliance. The two leaders re-affirmed their commitments to the ongoing missions in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, and to the Minsk accords with Merkel saying that better relations needed to be forged with Russia. German media described the leaders' first face-to-face meeting as not warm but not distant and that it could have been worse. 

About author: Ashleigh Templeton

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