German, US defense ministers pledge commitment to transatlantic relationship
Von der Leyen kicked off the international security meeting by calling for a more globally committed United States. The US Defense Secretary affirmed the importance of Europe to the US and praised German troops.
Germany's defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, opened the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) on Friday, saying the world needs a globally committed and responsible United States.
Von der Leyen told the assembled international government representatives and security experts that Germany realized it had to shoulder a greater burden of the cost of NATO.
"The crises and conflicts have opened our eyes: whoever wants security needs their own powers and capabilities. Whoever wants security needs reliable alliances," von der Leyen said.
"NATO is not self-evident, not for America and not for us Europeans. We must all be confident that our common interests and our principles and values are held up.
"And this also means that we are waging the fight against transnational terror together, especially Islamic State."
Beware of Muslim persecution
Von der Leyen cautioned against rising discrimination against Muslims.
"We should be wary of shifting this struggle into a front against Islam and Muslims. Otherwise, we are in danger of deepening the trenches from which violence and terror are growing. Rather, it remains proper to seek partnerships with like-minded Muslim and Arab states." Read More, dw