May 14, 2018 / 1:19 PM / 7 days ago

Merkel - NATO's 2 pct defence spending target not "some fetish"

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said it was important for Germany to stand by its commitments to the NATO alliance, including moves to boost military spending toward a target of 2 percent of economic output.

Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The target was not “some fetish,” but reflected changing security requirements in the world, Merkel told senior military officers. She said it was clear that the German military needed to rebuild its stocks of equipment after years of declining spending.

Merkel also called for Germany to remain committed to multilateral agreements at a time when the United States had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate deal. But she said the transatlantic relationship would remain a firm pillar of European security despite those differences.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin

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