Germany has rejected the claim that it owes NATO and the United States vast sums of money for its defense.

Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that Germany was strongly in favour of free trade and open markets at a time when the United States is becoming increasingly protectionist.

German Defense Minister Ursula Von Der Leyen in a statement in Berlin`criticised the target of NATO for member states to spend two percent of their economic output on Defence by 2024.

She urged NATO to adopt modern security concepts.