German new defense minister calls for higher military spending:report

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BERLIN, July 21(Xinhua) -- Germany's newly appointed Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday called for a significant increase in military spending to meet the NATO goal, media reported.

Germany has given NATO "a clear commitment" to boosting its defense spending towards 2 percent of its GDP by 2024, and "it's clear Germany must go this way," Kramp-Karrenbauer said during an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said she holds critical view on the defense budget plans in the coming years, as it might result to a decline of the defense spending ratio.

According to statistics, military spending costs around 1.24 percentage of Germany's GDP in 2018, and the ratio might only increase to 1.25 percent by 2023 if no extra budget is made.

"Although you are aware that you can not achieve this from one day to the next. But just as clear is that you really have to go the way there." Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

In the interview, Kramp-Karrenbauer also emphasized the role NATO played in Germany's security.

"NATO is and will remain the cornerstone of our security architecture," Kramp-Karrenbauer said, adding it is not realistic to believe "a European initiative could replace NATO."

Kramp-Karrenbauer, aged 56, was appointed as defense minister last Wednesday after her predecessor Ursula von der Leyen was elected to be the next head of the European Commission.

She will officially swear in Germany's lower parliament Bundeastag on Wednesday. Enditem

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