Published: Tue, May 30, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Merkel says can develop India ties and keep up U.S. relationship

Despite her dismay at the direction Trump is taking, Merkel was also at pains to underline the importance of United States relations.

Merkel today repeated that Europe must "take our fate into our own hands" and went on to say that it should step up as a diplomatic player on the global stage. "We will also strengthen cooperation in cyber security and aviation security", Prime Minister Modi said while issuing a joint statement here. "But the importance we put on these ties can not mean that we abandon fundamental principles such as our commitment to fight climate change and in favour of open societies and free trade", he said.

Modi said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "We do not have the right to spoil the environment for future generations. that is, morally speaking, a crime on our part".

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the West had become weaker as Washington increasingly put United States interests first.

"Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk", The Guardian quoted Gabriel as saying.

Juergen Hardt, the German government's coordinator for transatlantic policies, said Trump's administration was irritating foreign allies. "The West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker", Gabriel said.

Regional and inter-global issues were also discussed during the three-hour-long interactions - some at the delegation level and some one-to-one between Modi and Merkel.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker "supports building bridges", spokesman Margaritis Schinas said, while the E.U.'s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Twitter he "agreed" with Merkel that "Europe's destiny is in our own hands".

".They pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change".

U.S. President Donald Trump has reiterated his accusation that Germany does not pay its fair share of dues in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, three days after a meeting with the country's leader that the White House said went well. Trump refused to endorse NATO's collective defense principle or the Paris climate agreement and described Germany as "very bad" on trade during his first trip overseas as President.

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