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Merkel: Germany will meet pledge to spend 1.5 percent of GDP on defense by 2024

German Chancellor Angela Merkel checks her phone at the lower house of parliament (Bundestag), ahead of a Brussels summit for Brexit delay discussions, in Berlin, Germany March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will meet the obligation it has made to NATO allies to spend 1.5 percent of economic output on defense by 2024, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"The 1.5 percent target by 2024 is an obligation to NATO ... I guarantee and the German government guarantees that we will meet that obligation. And that will require effort," Merkel told the lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)