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20 Jul, 2018 11:01

Merkel: Europe can't rely on US ‘superpower'

Merkel: Europe can't rely on US ‘superpower'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe could no longer rely on the “superpower” of the United States, marking the latest verbal spat between transatlantic allies now feuding over everything from defense to trade.

"We can't rely on the superpower of the United States," Merkel told a news conference in Berlin, Reuters reports.

This is all good: Washington’s European allies – and Germany in particular – have locked horns with Donald Trump’s abrasive approach towards transatlantic defense and trade.

During his European tour, the US president chided NATO states for not spending more on defense, accused Germany being a “captive” of Russia, and stated flatly that he considered the European Union a “foe” for “what they do to us in trade.”

His performance in Brussels – where NATO met last week for its annual summit – was widely criticized, with the Germans in particular issuing several curt rebukes.

“We can no longer completely rely on the White House,” Maas said while speaking to German media on Monday, in response to Trump’s strong-arm tactics.

“To maintain our partnership with the USA, we must re-adjust it. The first clear consequence can only be that we need to align ourselves even more closely in Europe.”

Merkel’s comments on Friday echo similar sentiments that the Chancellor expressed more than a year ago.

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days,” she said in May 2017, after attending the 43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily.

The German leader added: “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with good neighborly relations wherever possible, also with Russia and other countries – but we have to know that we have to fight for our future and our fate ourselves as Europeans."

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