(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)
Merkel: Europe ‘can no longer rely on allies’ after Trump and Brexit
Europe can no longer “completely depend” on the US and UK following the election of President Trump and Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
Mrs Merkel said she wanted friendly relations with both countries as well as Russia but Europe now had to “fight for its own destiny”.
It follows the G7’s failure to commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal, talks Mrs Merkel said were “very difficult”.
President Trump has said he will make a decision in the coming week.
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days,” Mrs Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany.
The BBC’s Damien McGuinness, in Berlin, says the comments are a sign of growing assertiveness within the EU.
The relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron had to be a priority, Mrs Merkel said.
Earlier the German leader had described the “six against one” discussion about the Paris Accord during the G7 summit in Sicily as “very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory”.
Mr Trump said he would abandon the Paris deal – the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement requiring countries to cut carbon emission – during his election campaign and has also expressed doubts about climate change.
Speaking in Brussels last week, Mr Trump also told Nato members to spend more money on defence and did not re-state his administration’s commitment to Nato’s mutual security guarantees.
BBC Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the mere fact that this is even in question shows just how uneasy the relationship is between Mr Trump and the organisation of which his country is the leading member.
While in Belgium Mr Trump also reportedly described German trade practices as “bad, very bad”, complaining that Europe’s largest economy sells too many cars to the US.
The US president has described his visit to Europe as a “great success for America” with “big results”.
Passionate Merkel – BBC’s Damien McGuinness in Berlin:
It might have been thanks to the beer, pretzels and Bavarian brass-band enlivening the crowd.
But Mrs Merkel’s words were uncharacteristically passionate and unusually forthright. By all means keep friendly relations with Trump’s America and Brexit Britain, was the message – but we can’t rely on them.
Rapturous applause greeted her fiery calls for Europeans to fight for their own destiny.
No wonder she’s sounding confident. France has a new president who shares her pro free-trade, Europhile values, so there is a positive feeling in Europe that the EU’s Franco-German motor is back in business.
With four months to go before elections, Angela Merkel’s position also looks stronger than ever domestically. Initial enthusiasm for her center-left rival Martin Schulz has fizzled out. And Sunday’s beer-tent event underscored her strength by marking an end to a potential split with her Bavarian sister conservative party.
She might not have welcomed Brexit or Trump. But it seems that Mrs Merkel has decided that standing up for the EU will only strengthen her chances of winning another term in September.
Polls in Germany say Mrs Merkel is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term as German chancellor at elections in September.