Germany's Merkel is 'realistic' about NATO spending target

Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany is committed to the NATO target of spending 2 percent of a country's gross domestic product on defense, but is realistic about reaching it.

Merkel on Friday underlined Germany's plan to reach 1.5 percent by 2024. She said after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that "sometimes this may seem too slow but things are going in the right direction."

NATO members agreed in 2014 to "move toward the 2 percent guideline within a decade." Merkel said Berlin is complying with that, and added: "We accept this target, but we are also giving realistic information."

President Donald Trump has criticized Germany for falling short.

Stolbenberg said he's glad Germany's spending is rising but added: "I encourage Germany to do more, because Germany is the biggest economy in Europe."