U.S. President Donald Trump says Germany owes "vast sums of money" to NATO and must pay the United States more for providing security.
Trump made the comments in a tweet on March 18, a day after his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel since he took office in January.
"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting" with Merkel, the U.S. president wrote.
"Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO, & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!" he added.
At the White House on March 17, Trump reaffirmed the United States' "strong support" for NATO, while also demanding that members "pay their fair share."
"Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States," Trump added. "These nations must pay what they owe."
During last year’s election campaign, Trump repeatedly criticized NATO allies for not spending enough on their militaries.
He also cast doubt on whether the United States remained committed to the alliance’s central provision -- that an attack on one member would be considered an attack on all.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa