March 17, 2017 / 6:34 PM / in 5 months

Trump praises Merkel on Germany's spending on defense, NATO

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017.Jim Bourg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States would respect historic institutions but that other countries must pay their fair share to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Trump, speaking at a news conference following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said he thanked her "for the German government's commitment to increase defense spending and work toward contributing at least 2 percent of GDP" for NATO.

Reporting by Jeff Mason, Emily Stevenson and David Alexander; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by James Dalgleish

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