Merkel: Europe must stay united in face of ally uncertainty

Posted May 30, 2017

The Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency reports that in her campaign remarks, the German leader emphasized the need for friendly relations with the U.S., Britain and Russian Federation, but added: "We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands".

Trump returned to the White House late Saturday from a nine-day foreign tour that he described as a "great success for America".

Merkel made her comments during a campaign event in Munich, after three days of meeting with Trump at sometimes strained North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Group of Seven (G7) summits in Belgium and Italy.

"But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans", she said. Trump was far more solicitous toward the autocratic king of Saudi Arabia earlier in the week, telling him and other leaders of Muslim-majority countries - many of them not democratically elected - that he was not "here to lecture". "The West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker".

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, led by Merkel, got 38 percent of the voter support while the Social Democratic Party (SPD), headed by ex-President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, fell to 25 percent, according to the opinion poll designed by research institute Emnid and local media Bild am Sonntag. He noted that Trump was, in many respects, a bully.

And in Brussels, a spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker noted that Europe has always been working on ways to forge its own destiny.

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Speaking at a campaign event held in a Bavarian beer tent, Merkel suggested that the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Italy that ended Saturday had served as something of a wakeup call.

Still, it would be unlike Merkel just to give up on dealing with Trump, Tempel said. The point, he said, was that airing such differences in an honest manner is necessary to maintain the trans-Atlantic alliance.

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

Merkel has been subtly distancing herself from Trump for months. "I experienced that in the last a few days, and therefore I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands". "The truth wasn't meant to be earth-shattering in terms of unwinding trans-Atlantic relations".

Her comments came after Mr Trump said he needed more time to decide if the U.S. would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats. Trump also went against the grain at the G7 as the only leader not to endorse more efforts against climate change.

"I think it's interesting that the comments coming after the G7, which focus more on the values in G7 and trans-Atlantic affairs", Berzina said.