Europe must not bow to U.S. spending demands on NATO - EU's Juncker | Reuters
MUNICH, Germany European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that Europe must not cave in to U.S demands to raise military spending, arguing that development and humanitarian aid could also count as security.
MUNICH, Germany European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that Europe must not cave in to U.S demands to raise military spending, arguing that development and humanitarian aid could also count as security. U.S. President Donald Trump has raised questions about his commitment to the NATO defence alliance if European countries do not raise defence spending to 2 percent of economic output. The United States puts up 70 percent of alliance funds.U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies on Wednesday that they must honour military spending pledges to make sure the United States does not moderate its support."It has been the American message for many, many years. I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this," Juncker said in a speech on the sidelines of the international Munich Security Conference.
He said he knew that Germany would no longer have a budget surplus if it increased defence spending to 2 percent of GDP from 1.22 percent."I don't like our American friends narrowing down this concept of security to the military," he said, arguing it would be sensible to look at a "modern stability policy" made up of several components.
"If you look at what Europe is doing in defence, plus development aid, plus humanitarian aid, the comparison with the United States looks rather different. Modern politics cannot just be about raising defence spending," he said."Europeans must bundle their defence spending better and spend the money more efficiently," he added.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Peter Cooney)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.