“We do not owe NATO any money” | Germany’s defense minister gives Trump a fact check

By Itunuoluwa Adebo

The defense minister of Germany has rejected claims from US President Donald Trump that her country owes NATO “vast sums of money.”

Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement released that “there is no debt account in NATO”. To relate the 2% defense spending that we want to reach in the next decade solely to NATO is wrong.

“Some part of the defense spending also goes to the UN-peace mission, into European missions and towards our contributions to the fight against ISIS terrorism.” This was in response to claims by Trump that some NATO allies owe money after not meeting defense spending. In NATO’s recent annual report, it is estimated that Germany spent 1.2% of its GDP on defense in 2016, a figure that is expected to soar in 2017.

Trump in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during her Washington visit last week, reiterated “strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense”.

“Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States,” he said. “These nations must pay what they owe.”

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