29 May 2017

Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on allies

7:28 am on 29 May 2017

Europe can no longer "completely depend" on the United States and Britain, 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".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Sicily on 26 May.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Sicily Photo: AFP

The German leader did not mention US President Donald Trump by name, but pointed to bruising meetings of G7 wealthy nations - which failed to commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal - and Nato last week.

"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 - of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbours wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia."

"But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans."

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 the Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.

President Trump has said he will make a decision on the climate change agreement in the coming week, but has reportedly told confidantes he plans to leave the deal.

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

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".

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".

Polls in Germany say Mrs Merkel is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term as German chancellor at elections in September.

- BBC / Reuters

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