30 May 2017

German leaders step up attacks on Trump

8:56 am on 30 May 2017

Germany's top politicians have stepped up criticism of US President Donald Trump, a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US and UK were no longer reliable partners.

On Monday Mrs Merkel said it was right not to gloss over differences with the US, while her foreign minister said Mr Trump's actions "weakened the West".

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

Angela Merkel and Donald Trump at the G7 summit. Photo: AFP

It comes days after the G7 summit, where Mr Trump refused to commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal.

Germany goes to the polls in September.

German opposition leader Martin Schulz accused Mr Trump of having tried to "humiliate" Mrs Merkel in Brussels.

It was unclear exactly what incident a furious Mr Schulz was referring to, but he accused the US president of "acting like an autocratic leader".

Speaking at a conference on sustainable development in Berlin, Mrs Merkel reiterated her call for Europeans to take their fate into their own hands.

The debate at the G7 meeting in Italy had shown it would be difficult to make the 2015 Paris climate deal work, she said.

Those putting on "national blinkers" on matters of international sustainability were going about things the wrong way, she said.

Mr Trump has said he will make a decision on the Paris agreement this week.

He has previously pledged to abandon the Paris deal and expressed doubts about climate change.

However, Mrs Merkel also said at the conference that she remained a "convinced Trans-Atlanticist". On Sunday she said Germany and Europe wanted friendly relations with the US and UK as well as with other regional powers, such as Russia.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel meanwhile accused the US of "short-sighted policies" that he said were against EU interests.

"Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk," Mr Gabriel said.

Mrs Merkel is on the campaign trail ahead of elections in September. Polls suggest she is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term.


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