Modi meets German Chancellor Merkel

Pauline Gross
May 31, 2017

"The consequences of Brexit (the UK's exit from the European Union) and how it would affect India and Germany were covered by the two leaders", Tomar said, adding that the prime minister reiterated the utmost value that India attaches to the EU's cohesiveness, which is a major factor of stability in global politics.

That will mean adjusting the German mindset about the U.S. relationship with both Germany and Europe, Horst says, "moving from kinship to policy coordination, actually developing a strategy vis-à-vis the USA that includes adaptation, disagreement, and tactics in their dealings" with the Trump Administration.

Angela Merkel and Donald Trump at the G7 summit.

Speaking on the sidelines of the third Berlin roundtable discussion on refugees and migration, Gabriel called on Europe to stand up to the current United States administration and not shy away from offering criticism.

"Our position is well known on this issue", the ambassador said, in reference to India's opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the flagship project of President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

APPLEBAUM: Possibly. I mean, I - you know, look, I have argued for a long time that Europe should begin to think a lot more creatively about defense - perhaps, creating a European army, you know, kind of European foreign legion along French lines, perhaps, beefing up its capacity to conduct foreign policy, which right now it really nearly doesn't have at all. She signaled that Europe can no longer depend on the a reliable partner.

'We also know that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands, ' she added, underlining Europe's frustration with Trump on climate policy in particular.

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She also noted that Merkel is seeking a fourth term as chancellor in September, and does not want to be seen as being too close to an American president who is widely disliked in Europe.

On Thursday, Trump did not explicitly promise to protect America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies if they came under attack, instead alleging 23 out of the 28-member nations owed "massive amounts of money" to US taxpayers. He is easily the most convincing challenger to Merkel's 11-year reign as chancellor and a charismatic leader in his own right.

The SPD have made clear they will resist pressure from Trump for Germany to ramp up defence spending, another issue that resonates well with German voters.

Nevertheless, Seibert said Merkel remained "a deeply convinced trans-Atlanticist". The German Chancellor said Europe could no longer rely on its past partnerships and would need to provide its own protection. "In the future, America will continue to be our most important partner in economic, foreign and security policy". "The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days".

Modi and Merkel will also meet top businessmen from India and Germany with the aim to further strengthen trade and investment ties.

But Almut Möller, Head of the European Council on Foreign Relations' Berlin office and Senior Policy Fellow, believes Merkel's latest remarks should be taken in a more modest light. I mean, was this possibly political bluster, or do you think she foresees a necessary shift in European dealings with the U.S.?

Other reports by GizPress

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