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12 June 2018, 05:58 | Glen Norman
Trump and Merkel: A study in contrasting G7 images
"This has solidified my belief that we, Europeans, should decide our fate by ourselves", the German leader said, calling on EU to be more active in defending its values and principles.
The center-right leader said a tariff-free area among G7 allies would be an ideal outcome, but she made clear that any talks about such a trade bloc would have to include non-tariff barriers to trade as well as free access to public tenders.
Trump made promoting American interests in worldwide trade his primary goal for the G7 summit, often to the detriment of diplomatic niceties.
"There remain good reasons to fight for the transatlantic partnership", she said, adding that the current round of trade tariffs that the USA and European Union have imposed on each other did not signal the end of a partnership. She also said the U.S. president wasn't entirely wrong in pressing Germany to increase defence spending.
Merkel said she first found out about Trump's decision on the flight back from Canada.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center) reacts beside Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde (center left) during a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 11, 2018.
"Reneging in a tweet is sobering and a bit depressing", Merkel said in the interview with broadcaster ARD late Sunday. "We were talking while we were waiting for the final copy of the document", the president said.
Despite tensions over Trump's intended trade tariffs the United States and its G7 allies had put on an apparent show of unity at the end of the tense summit. Trump spent the days leading up to the meeting tweeting complaints about the summit's "indignant" host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and French President Emmanuel Macron, arguing that both leaders refused to budge on their trade positions.
Merkel's March 2017 visit to the White House was marked by Trump either not hearing or ignoring her offer to shake hands in the Oval Office.
The calamitous summit ended in disarray after Trump broadsided his allies by disavowing a joint statement the United States had agreed to.
Meanwhile, Trump's off to Singapore to meet up with North Korea'sSupreme Leader Kim Jong-un who landed in the country earlier today. Moscow was expelled from the then-G8 in 2014 after it annexed Crimea.
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