Germany's transatlantic agent hopes for NATO signal of cohesion


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The Federal Government's coordinator for transatlantic relations, Peter Beyer (CDU), has called for a signal of solidarity at the NATO summit. Among other things, he emphasized the importance of higher defense spending. According to Beyer, these are neither a "fetish" nor an attempt to please the Americans.

The politician said he hoped for a "strong signal of cohesion" at the upcoming NATO summit in London, and positioned himself as a staunch alliance advocate.

"NATO is the most successful security alliance in the history of humanity – and not brain dead, as French President Macron said," said the CDU politician.

At the same time he campaigned for one intensification German-American dialogue and a consistent increase in German defense spending.

"Germany must not duck," Beyer said. "NATO's two-percent target is not a fetish. And we do not want to reach it either to please the Americans or Donald Trump, "Beyer clarified.

He added that the Bundeswehr needed to be made stronger and more effective, "because that depends on our freedom, our security and our prosperity".

NATO summit

The NATO summit will take place from 2 to 3 December on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Alliance. French President Emmanuel Macron's sharp criticism of the Alliance has sparked a fierce debate over NATO's future.

Macron has declared NATO "brain dead" and demanded more European independence in security matters. In response to the fundamental criticism, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has proposed the establishment of a reform commission.

Higher defense spending

Germany has announced defense expenditures for 2020 in the amount of 50.25 billion euros. Accordingly, the German amount is estimated to correspond to a share of 1.42 percent of the gross domestic product.

The German amount of 50.25 billion euros represents an increase of about 6.2 percent compared to the expenditure of 47.32 billion euros, which were last adopted for the current year.

The goal of the NATO states is a quota of 2.0 percent. For 2019, 1.36 percent had been predicted for the Federal Republic last. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (both CDU) want to reach the two percent by 2031. The SPD, on the other hand, is skeptical of such an increase in defense spending.

mka / ae / dpa

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