German Chancellor Angela Merkel is standing by her statements about the European-U.S. relationship, urging Europeans to “take fate into our own hands,” after President Trump confronted Germany and other NATO allies over military spending and trade.
At the closing of the G7summit in Italy, Merkel called into question Germany’s alliances with Britain and the U.S., saying that the time when Europe could rely on other were “over to a certain extent.”
“I have experienced this in the last few days,” she said, referring to meetings which took place during the summit. “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 neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.”
As reported in the Daily Caller:
Merkel’s remarks were meant to signal a new way of approaching transatlantic relations with both the U.S. and the U.K. as the latter prepares to leave the E.U., a spokesman for the German leader confirmed on Monday.
The remarks stunned foreign policy observers on both sides of the Atlantic. Many are worried that Germany’s new perspective — along with Trump’s “America First” approach to international relations and the U.K.’s divorce from the EU — threatens to upend the post-WWII order that has provided stability in Europe for more than 70 years.
Merkel’s statements are a “watershed” moment in world history, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas said Sunday.
Merkel’s call for Europe to become more self-reliant also comes at the time when the UK is moving to leave the European Union.