GERMANY REJECTS TRUMP’S ACCUSATORY TWEETS, ASSERTS IT OWES NO DEBT TO NATO

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has rejected US President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes NATO and the United States “vast sums” of money for defence.

“There is no debt account at NATO,” Ms von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance’s target for members to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to NATO.

“Defence spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism,” Ms von der Leyen said.

She said everyone wanted the burden to be shared fairly and for that to happen it was necessary to have a “modern security concept” that included a modern NATO but also a European defense union and investment in the United Nations.

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