Angela Merkel has warned that Europe could no longer rely on the US and UK as partners following a troubled G7 meeting of world leaders.
The German Chancellor signalled a seismic shift in relations with the two countries following Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as she said Europeans truly have to take “our destiny” into their own hands.
Merkel said she hopes to maintain a friendly relationship with the US and the UK but that she could not “fully count on” them.
At an election rally in Munich, Merkel told supporters:
“The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days.
“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 neighbours wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.”
“But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”
The German chancellor had just returned from a G7 summit without a deal between the US and the other six major advanced nations on upholding the 2015 Paris climate accords.
Merkel had on Saturday labelled the result of the “six against one” discussion “very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory”. There were also splits on trade and refugees.
Trump offered a more positive assessment on Twitter, hailing his trip to Europe a “great success”.
As well as renewing his criticism of Nato allies for failing to meet military spending commitments, Trump said “the Germans are bad, very bad” during a meeting with top leaders of the European Union, according to participants in the room who spoke to German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.
Trump’s specific criticism was that Germany’s auto industry exported cars. “See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. Terrible,” Der Spiegel reports he said. “We will stop this.”
The US president has repeatedly questioned Washington’s relationships in the Europe, cheering Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and engaging positively with anti-EU politicians like France’s Marine Le Pen.