German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pleaded to US President Donald Trump to reject protectionism and show support for international organisations.

Trump has brought into question his support for Nato, the United Nations and the European Union in his presidential campaign, raising concern in Western leaders.

That rhetoric has since been reflected in Trump's "America First" agenda since his inauguration, but Merkel called on him to prioritise global security.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday (18 February), Merkel said: "Will we be able to continue working well together, or will we all fall back into our individual roles?

"I call on us, and I hope we will find a common position on this, let's make the world better together and then things will get better for every single one of us."

"I am firmly convinced that it is worth fighting for our common international multilateral structures, but we must improve them in many places," she added.

Merkel was addressing US Vice-President Mike Pence who was present on Trump's behalf, alongside leaders from across the world.

Pence promised the US will be "unwavering" in support of Nato, but bluntly stated that members need to meet their expectation of putting 2% of GDP spending into its budget.

"Europe's defence requires your commitment as much as ours," he said.

In response, Merkel said commitment should not descend to a "petty discussion" about spending.

"We will do everything we can in order to fulfil this commitment," Merkel said. "But let me add, however, that I believe while Nato is very much in the European interest, it's also in the American interest – it's a very strong alliance where we are united together."

Merkel also said greater cooperation was needed with Russia in tackling Islamic State (Isis) and international terrorism, but warned that a discussion needed to be had over its role in numerous cyber warfare allegations.

"We know that Russia communicates very openly that it views hybrid warfare as a form of defence," Merkel said. "If I could wish for one thing, it would certainly be very good to get this topic, for example, on the agenda in the framework of Nato-Russia talks."