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Danish Leader Says Ready To Hike Military Spending After Talk With Trump

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he is ready to raise military spending after speaking with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Denmark is ready to increase military spending, the nation's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said after speaking with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on November 16.

Trump frequently criticized NATO allies during his campaign for not paying enough for their own defense and said the United States was paying a disproportionate amount.

Denmark spends about 1.2 percent of its economic output on defense -- like many other NATO members, falling short of the 2 percent target set by NATO.

But Denmark, Poland, and other European nations since Trump's election have indicated a willingness to increase spending.

"The government is setting the stage for increasing spending on military and national security," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen, whose one-party government only holds 34 of 179 seats in parliament, called his conversation with Trump "friendly and constructive" and stressed that Denmark is a close ally of the United States.

He noted that Denmark is contributing to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.

"We need a strong United States that will head the free world. I feel convinced that the United States will also in the future take on this role," Rasmussen said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa