Angela Merkel says Europeans can't rely on the USA anymore

"The times in which [Germany] could fully rely on others are partly over".

A day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to question the reliability of the United States as a partner, her office said yesterday that she believes firmly in strong German-US ties and was simply being honest in highlighting policy differences with the White House.

"We need to know that we have to fight for our own future and destiny as Europeans", Merkel said.

Though she did not mention them by name, Merkel was most likely referring to the fractured relationship Germany now shares with the USA, as well as with the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

Trump's firm refusal to commit to the Paris climate deal at the G7 summit in Italy on Saturday - along with his description of Germany as "very bad on trade" - may also have contributed to Merkel switching the rhetoric up a notch.

Earlier the German leader had described the "six against one" discussion about the Paris Accord during the G7 summit in Sicily as "very hard, not to say very unsatisfactory".

Six of the seven G7 nations agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement aimed at slowing global warming, but Mr Trump said he needed more time to decide if the U.S. would abandon the accord.

Mr Trump has reportedly told "confidants" including the head of the Environmental Protection Angency Scott Pruitt, he wants the United States to leave the global agreement on climate change, the Axios news outlet reported, citing three sources with direct knowledge.

The American president backed a pledge to fight protectionism at the end of a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday.

When Trump was inaugurated in January, Merkel had told the billionaire and former reality TV show star that cooperation would be on the basis of shared democratic values. Merkel took the decision to rejuvenate Europe post-Brexit and post-Trump. Trudeau has also signaled that he will open Canada's borders to those fleeing war and terrorism in their own countries.

Trump also lectured his counterparts Thursday on their failure to meet North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending guidelines. He also warned of more attacks similar to the Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.

Merkel's comments were similar to some she made shortly after Trump's November election.

During her campaign event on Sunday, Merkel emphasized a close Franco-German alliance.

Her foreign minister, a political rival, upped the rhetoric Monday by declaring that with Trump's policies, "the West has become smaller".

"We are not leaving Europe".

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has harshly criticized Donald Trump, saying the U.S. president's actions have "weakened the West" and his "short-sighted" policies have hurt European Union interests.

  • Jon Douglas