German defense minister visits US, calls NATO demands 'fair'

BERLIN (AP) " Germany's defense minister agrees with America's call for European NATO members to shoulder more of the burden in the alliance.

Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Friday that the Trump administration's call " which echoes long-standing U.S. policy " is "a fair demand." Von der Leyen met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Washington to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.

Berlin is keen to strengthen ties with its trans-Atlantic ally after U.S. President Donald Trump set alarm bells ringing by calling NATO "obsolete" last month. Germany relied on U.S. military protection during the Cold War and has remained far below the defense expenditure threshold of 2 percent expected of NATO members.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany will increase its military spending going forward.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 26 Mar 2017 22:17:05 Processing Time: 806ms