Merkel suggests Europe can't count on US and UK as much as in past
The German chancellor said Europe "must take its fate into its own hands."
— -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel told an election rally in Munich that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands," pointing to potential differences of opinion with the United States and Great Britain, following the Group of Seven summit in Italy.
"The times when we could completely count on others, they are over to a certain extent," Merkel said on Sunday. "I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands."
Merkel affirmed her country's friendship with the U.S. and the United Kingdom, but suggested that Europeans should fight for their own destiny.
"Of course [we are] in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia," she said. "But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans, and that's what I want to do together with you."
Steffen Seibert, a spokesperson for Merkel, clarified Monday that she is "a convinced trans-Atlanticist" and he added that U.S.-German relations "are a strong pillar of our foreign and security policy, and Germany will continue working to strengthen these relations."
Seibert continued by saying "precisely because they are so important, it's right to name differences honestly."
In the U.S., President Trump's election cast doubt the future on the country's continued participation in the Paris climate accord. Trump's support of NATO has been less full-throated and unqualified than his predecessors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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