Germany's Merkel is a "deeply convinced Atlanticist" - spokesman

In the immediate aftermath of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium and the G-7 summit in Italy, German chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a cautionary message to her fellow Europeans: It's time to "take our destiny into our own hands" and not rely on the U.S.

Her comments came after Mr Trump said he needed more time to decide if the United States would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats.

Merkel also emphasized the continued need for friendly relations with the USA and others.

Where Europe's relationship with the US during the Cold War and in its immediate aftermath had a strong emotional component, Merkel's comments suggest she now sees them as more "pragmatic and transactional", said Sylke Tempel, an expert with the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Merkel's comments came on the heels of what she called a "difficult" and "unsatisfactory" G7 summit.

"At a time when we want to take steps forward for Europe and its defence, it is a spur", said Goulard.

Merkel's comments are a rebuke of the narrative that Trump's foreign trip was a success merely because the president avoided making too many show-stopping gaffes, and suggest that other nations are less likely to lower their expectations of and standards for USA presidential behavior.

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Berlin remains committed to strong trans-Atlantic relations, but Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion after meetings with President Donald Trump that Europe can no longer entirely rely on the U.S.

Trump - who returned from his nine-day global trip on Saturday - had a different take. "And above all else, we must not submit to Trump's arms-race logic".

"The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union", he said, adding that, "The West has become smaller; at least it has become weaker".

"Here is a situation where it's six, seven if you include the European Union, against one", she said.

The German chancellor spoke following t he G7 summit, in which leaders failed to agree unanimously on climate change after USA president Donald Trump said he needed more time to decide whether to back a key climate accord. "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!"

Merkel's remarks, made to her Christian Democrat party's Bavarian allies, were particularly striking as the chancellor, a fan of the United States as a teenager in Communist East Germany, has always been known as a resolute Atlanticist.

In April, Trump was said to be considering an executive order which would pull the USA out of NAFTA. "It won't be possible to stall it", she said.

  • Sonia Alvarado