Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Trump repeats criticism of Germany, Merkel stands by position

Trump repeats criticism of Germany, Merkel stands by position Trump repeats criticism of Germany, Merkel stands by position
Christy Curtis | 31 May, 2017, 06:14

Merkel reiterated the sentiment on Tuesday, saying that relations with the United States were of "outstanding importance" but that Germany must also look elsewhere.

"It doesn't have to be this way, a vote for the Liberal Democrats can change Britain's future and we can avoid this extreme Brexit that Theresa May is pursuing", he said.

Relations between the United States and Germany veered further toward crisis on Tuesday as President Donald Trump complained about the U.S. trade deficit with Germany and said it must pay more for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

In a separate tweet Tuesday, Trump also said Russian officials are probably "laughing" at the U.S. amid continued reports about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The US trade deficit in goods and services with Germany in 2016 fell to $67.8 billion, due to a 0.7 percent increase in exports to $80.4 billion, and a 5.7 percent drop in imports, which totalled $148.1 billion, according to government data. The tweet follows a volley of criticism from Germany after the president concluded his first official tour overseas on Sunday, returning from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brussels and then Italy for a G7 summit.

Mrs Merkel's out of character appearance also signalled a strong pro-European stance to voters in Germany, as well as the wider European Union, that Berlin will be playing a more activist role in the bloc.

President Trump didn't respond to a calling by Angela Merkel to shake hands during her visit to the White House, though White House later said that it was unintentional. "This is what I experienced in the last few days".

Modi and Merkel will also jointly address the India-Germany Business Summit later in the day.

Earlier, Modi was received by German Chanceller Angela Merkel at the Chancellery for the Fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) during which the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral issues and clinched 12 agreements. Beyond policy issues, his shoving of the Montenegrin prime minister and macho handshakes with Macron deepened the skepticism.

Trump has also said he plans to make a decision this week on whether to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord - widely considered a key achievement of the Obama administration and a necessary measure if the world wants to avoid a sharp rise in global temperatures. Trump has vowed to walk away from the historic Paris deal while Merkel supports the agreement.

Merkel's speech in Munich could be seen as a reminder to Trump that the decision will have real implications for his relationship with Berlin and other partners, officials said.

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