Merkel: Europe must stay united in face of ally uncertainty

by Joy Montgomery May 30, 2017, 6:22
Merkel: Europe must stay united in face of ally uncertainty

Merkel shocked many in Washington and London by saying on Sunday that Europe must take its fate into its own hands, implying that the United States under President Donald Trump and Britain after its Brexit vote were no longer reliable partners.

Merkel, who concluded her speech by taking a drink from an oversized beer glass, added that while she would attempt to remain on friendly terms with all nations - "even Russia" - in the end, the citizens of the European Union would need to shape their own fate.

Germany's frustration came out after the G7 summit which wrapped up on Saturday with the United States refusing so far to sign up to upholding the 2015 Paris climate accord. "I've experienced that in the last few days", Angela Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany. "We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands".

"The chancellor's words stand on their own - they were clear and comprehensible", her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told a regular government news conference in Berlin.

Still, it would be unlike Merkel just to give up on dealing with Trump, Tempel said.

In response to Merkel's comments, Britain said it would be a "strong partner" to Germany.

Mrs. Merkel said she wanted friendly relations with both countries as well as Russian Federation but Europe now had to "fight for its own destiny". Initial enthusiasm for her centre-left rival Martin Schulz has fizzled out.

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Britain will remain a strong ally of the European Union even as it leaves the bloc, its interior minister said on Monday, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuke. "We can reassure Mrs Merkel that we want to have a deep and special partnership so that we can continue to maintain European-wide security to keep us all safe from the terrorists overseas and those that are trying to be nurtured in our country".

She also noted that Merkel is seeking a fourth term as chancellor in September, and does not want to be seen as being too close to an American president who is widely disliked in Europe.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!"

They also agreed to step up pressure on North Korea, to forge closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and on the possibility of imposing more sanctions on Russian Federation over its role in the conflict in Ukraine.

She said she got this feeling after meeting world leaders at the recently concluded G7 summit in Italy.

Merkel's comments came after a Group of Seven summit at which the Europeans couldn't reach agreement on climate change with US President Donald Trump. Trump had a slightly different take on his time in Europe.

The relationship between Merkel and Trump contrasts with the warm ties between her and former USA president Barack Obama - who last week travelled to Berlin to attend a key Protestant conference.

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