The conflict in Syria has taken an enormous scale and can not be settled without the participation of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Europe and other regional powers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized in the lower house of parliament (Bundestag), the withdrawal of the U.S. government from the nuclear agreement with Iran.
The target was not some fetish, but reflected changing security requirements in the world, she told senior officers at her first appearance at a biennial meeting of military top brass since 2012. "This accord was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, and therefore we - the UK, France, and Germany - as well as other European Union members along with us, believe that it is wrong to cancel this agreement in this situation", Merkel said during her speech in the German parliament.
The appropriate level of military funds has become the subject of heated discussion in the governing grand coalition, with defense minister Ursula von der Leyen demanding a further increase to at least 1.5 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) or around 60 billion euros.
"It's not the only criterion - it's also a question of who contributes what in the alliance", the defense minister told a military conference in Berlin, saying that Germany is the second-biggest troop contributor within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. These now call for spending on the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, to rise in 2019 as a percentage of economic output but fall thereafter.
Germany's internal debate about military spending had already raised questions about its credibility, Merkel said, adding that she often faced tough questions about the issue.