German Laschet promises to increase military spending if elected | World news


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany must increase its military spending and shoulder a greater share of military burdens within NATO, the conservative candidate for Angela Merkel’s succession as chancellor said on Sunday in an interview with a newspaper.

Heads of state from the 30 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will meet in Brussels on Monday and discuss the way forward in the face of challenges such as China, Russia and cyber threats.

Laschet, backed by Merkel’s Tories to run for chancellor in the September 26 election, said he would ensure Germany, Europe’s largest economy, meets the alliance’s spending target of 2% of gross domestic product.

“When we have agreed something internationally, we have to stick to it,” he told Welt am Sonntag (WamS).

He said the Bundeswehr, the federal armed forces, should take more responsibility in Africa, around the Mediterranean and in Mali.

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“We can always talk about ourselves taking a larger share of the burden,” he said, referring to Mali, where the Bundeswehr is participating in a European Union training mission and a peacekeeping mission. United Nations peace.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that France’s operation against Islamist militants in the Sahel region, of which Mali is a part, would end with troops now operating as part of broader international efforts in the region. .

A German poll on Sunday showed the conservative Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party CSU bloc at 27%, well ahead of the Greens at 20%.

Separately, the Green Party at a party conference that ended on Sunday relaxed a previously categorical stance against the Bundeswehr’s use of armed drones after a close vote of 347 to 343 on the motion.

But the Greens reject NATO’s two percent target because they see it as costly and arbitrary.

(Report by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt and Holger Hansen in Berlin, edited by William Maclean)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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