Europe can no longer completely count on its allies, Angela Merkel says after NATO, G7

G7 leaders pose in a line in front of their respective flags in Sicily, Italy.
G7 leaders pose in Sicily, Italy

Europe can no longer completely rely on its allies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, pointing to bruising meetings of G7 wealthy nations and NATO last week.

Ms Merkel did not mention by name US President Donald Trump, who criticised major NATO allies andrefused to endorse a global climate change accord, but told a packed beer tent in Munich that "the times when [Europe] could completely count on others are over to a certain extent".

"I have experienced this in the last few days," she said. 
"And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands.

Ms Merkel said that such fate would "of course" be "in friendship" with the US and Great Britain, though she added: "But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans."

The two-day G7 summit in Italy pitted Mr Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

The American tycoon-turned-president 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.

"The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying," Ms Merkel told reporters. 
"There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not."

But EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Sunday he was more optimistic now — compared to after the US election last November — following Mr Trump's meetings with EU leaders in Brussels.

"What I am absolutely sure after this meeting is that despite some extraordinary ... expressions, behaviours, etc, etc, our partners in the G7 are much more responsible than the first impression after the election in the United States," Mr Tusk said in the Slovak capital.

At the NATO summit on Thursday, Mr Trump intensified his accusations that allies were not spending enough on defence and warned of more attacks such as this week's Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.

Upon his return, Mr Trump labelled his maiden overseas journey a "home run" at a campaign-style rally, but skipped the traditional end-of-trip news conference. 
"I think we hit a home run no matter where we are," Mr Trump said. "It was a tremendously productive meeting where I strengthen American bonds.

"We have great bonds with other countries and, with some of our closest allies, we concluded a truly historic week."

Turning to France, Ms Merkel said she wished newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron success.

"Where Germany can help, Germany will help, because Germany can only do well if Europe is doing well."

France is Germany's second-biggest trading partner and the presidential election victory of the pro-European centrist reformer Macron over far-right protectionist rival Marine Le Pen in early May has sparked hopes that Berlin will ally with Paris in spearheading a broad-based economic revival in Europe.


Europe can no longer completely count on its allies, Angela Merkel says after NATO, G7 Europe can no longer completely count on its allies, Angela Merkel says after NATO, G7 Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Monday, 29 May 2017 Rating: 5

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