Europe

Merkel: Germany will raise defense spending, but slowly

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he arrives at the Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he arrives at the Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, shares a light moment with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, left, during a welcoming ceremony for a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, shares a light moment with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, left, during a welcoming ceremony for a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks through the German Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks through the German Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country will stick to its long-term commitment to raise defense spending to levels agreed with NATO partners — but no hurry about it.

Merkel said that "Germany is conscious of its responsibility" to spend more on arms but added that development aid and crisis prevention are also important for global security.

She said Germany would stick to the long-term goal of raising defense spending to 2 percent of economic output by 2024.

Merkel spoke Friday when she and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for NATO allies to carry more of the financial burden. NATO members agreed at a 2014 summit in Wales that countries not currently meeting the 2 percent goal would do so over a decade.