German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has vowed to significantly boost defence spending amid criticism from the United States that it is not pulling its weight as a NATO member.

“Germany is committed to working towards meeting a NATO spending target of two per cent of gross domestic product,’’ Ms Merkel said in a speech to lawmakers in Berlin on Thursday.

“This is a fundamental issue.

“I am firmly convinced, is about nothing more and nothing less than the future preservation of the trans-Atlantic alliance,’’ she said, in a nod to Washington, where President Donald Trump has repeatedly scolded her for not meeting the target.

The long-serving chancellor vowed to spend 1.5 per cent of GDP on defence by 2024, a sum estimated by experts to be around 60 billion Euros (69.3 billion dollars).

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