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Belgium: Merkel vows to up defence spending by ’80 percent’ after Trump barbs

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that Berlin would increase its defence expenditure by ’80 percent’, relative to its 2014 estimate, within the next six years in Brussels on Wednesday.

Ahead of NATO’s annual summit, Merkel was keen to emphasise that Germany would pull its weight and at least meet the two-percent defence sending threshold which was agreed at the 2014 summit in Wales.

“Germany also acts for the benefit of NATO: we are the second biggest provider of troops, the most significant part of our military is available to NATO, and we are, to this very today, very strongly involved in Afghanistan,” she added.

It comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump pointing to estimates which suggest Washington delegates some four percent of its GDP to defence while Germany allocates around a percent.

Merkel said she expects ‘controversial discussions’ at the summit.

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