"Mr. Trump may have been referring to the fact that Germany, like most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, falls short of the alliance's guideline that each member should allocate 2 percent of its gross domestic product to military spending, but that money is not meant to be paid to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or to the United States". "There is no debt account at NATO", German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, elaborating on the distribution of Berlin's military expenditure, which is also allocated to United Nations peacekeeping, European Union operations and anti-terror efforts in addition to NATO missions, Xinhua reported.
Berlin's defense budget has always been below NATO's target of 2 percent of a member's gross domestic product.
Loyalties between allies shouldn't rest exclusively on military spending, Germany's defense minister said Friday as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to meet in Washington with President Donald Trump for the first time.
Germany's defense minister Von der Leyen, a close Merkel ally, on Sunday rebuffed his comments.
Mr Trump is hosting Angela Merkel at the White House today, with the world's media watching on.
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Trump hasn't released his tax returns, but during the election campaign he claimed to be worth in excess of $ 10 billion . The American president was ranked at number 544 on the magazine's annual rich list, with a net worth of around $3.5bn.
"Defence spending also goes into United Nations peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against Isis terrorism", Ms von der Leyen said.
"Defense spending also goes into United Nations peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to fight against IS terrorism", she said, according to a Reuters report.
German defense spending is set to increase by 1.4 billion euros to 38.5 billion euros in 2018, Reuters reported.
Trump has not been the only American official to be critical of Germany and other European allies. Merkel noted that Germany was committed to the 2% military spending goal during her visit to Washington.