Spokesman: Merkel is a 'Deeply Convinced Atlanticist'

Elias Hubbard
May 30, 2017

European Union members states can no longer fully rely on the U.S. and the United Kingdom and should take their fate into their own hands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe has to forge its own path forward, as the United States and Britain are no longer reliable partners. -German relations "are a strong pillar of our foreign and security policy, and Germany will continue working to strengthen these relations", Seibert said.Merkel emphasized the need for continued friendly relations with the U.S. and Britain and also stressed the importance of being good neighbors "wherever that is possible, including with Russian Federation, but also with others".The relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron had to be a priority, Mrs Merkel said. "I've experienced that in the last few days", she told the crowd Sunday, a day after attending the G7 summit.

Europe "must take its fate into its own hands" in the face of a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, Angela Merkel has said.

Merkel's remarks came amid Trump's strong criticism of European allies for not doing enough for Europe's defence and trying to shift their responsibility to the US. According to polls, the sister parties are expected to win the upcoming general election, securing Merkel a fourth term as Germany Chancellor.

Mrs Merkel said the relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron had to be a priority.

Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism at the end of the G7 summit on Saturday, but refused to endorse the climate pact, saying he needed more time to decide.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has harshly criticized Donald Trump, saying the United States president's actions have "weakened the West" and his "short-sighted" policies have hurt European Union interests.

But Merkel's own, carefully chosen words, arguing that times of dependency were "somewhat" in the past, indicate that the pro-American chancellor's view is one that could yet be revised.

Mr Seibert said German-US relations "are a strong pillar of our foreign and security policy, and Germany will continue working to strengthen these relations".

Merkel's comments were made on the election trail and therefore directed at a domestic audience as much as to an global one.

"This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed", said Ivo H. Daalder, a former USA envoy to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation who is now director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Mrs. Merkel has expressed disappointment over Donald Trump to stall backing the Paris climate deal, he says he will make a decision on the issue next week.

When Trump was inaugurated in January, Merkel had told the billionaire and former reality TV show star that cooperation would be on the basis of shared democratic values.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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