In May, during a speech in Munich that followed a contentious Group of Seven summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that she believes Europe can no longer rely on the U.S. for support. She said specifically:
‘The times in which we could fully rely on others are, to a certain extent, in the past. We Europeans must take our fate into our own hands more decisively than we have in the past.’
In an interview with the German magazine Die Zeit, which was published on Wednesday, Merkel doubled down on this claim, saying that she would repeat it “exactly that way.”
‘It is, for example, open whether we can and should in the future rely on the U.S. investing so much as it has so far in the United Nations’ work, in Middle East policy, in European security policy or in peace missions in Africa.’
Later on in the interview, Merkel conceded that Europe doesn’t “have a legal claim to the Americans committing themselves everywhere in the world.”
She also said that she does not expect the U.S. to “engage in Africa to the extent that would be necessary” because of a current lack of “oil interests.”
Merkel went on to criticize President Trump’s view of globalization, saying that it focuses on “winners and losers” instead of “win-win situations.”
‘While we seek chances to cooperate for everyone’s benefit, globalization is seen in the American administration as a process which isn’t about win-win situations, but about winners and losers.
‘We don’t want just a few to profit from economic advances. Everyone should participate.’
The German chancellor’s most recent criticisms of the Trump administration came shortly after news broke about the campaign program for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party dropping all references to the U.S. as a “friend” of Germany.
Merkel’s 2013 program referred to the U.S. as Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe and described Germany’s “friendship” with Washington as a “cornerstone” of Germany’s international relationships. The new program refers to the U.S. as Germany’s “most important partner” outside of Europe.
Despite her jabs at the Trump administration, Merkel has still said that she plans to focus on “reaching agreements” during this weekend’s Group of 20 summit.
‘We have to take the configurations as they are. As G-20 chairwoman, I have the job of working out ways of reaching agreement and not contributing to an inability to talk.
‘At the same time, the differences must not be swept under the carpet.’
Merkel also made it clear on Wednesday that she is eager to work with other world leaders at the Group of 20 summit, including Chinese President Xi Jinping. After she welcomed Jinping to Berlin on Wednesday, Merkel told the press that their pre-summit meeting was “a good opportunity to expand and broaden our extensive strategic relations.”
‘It is a great pleasure for us to welcome you here today at a time of turmoil in the world, when China and Germany can make a contribution to calming down this turmoil somewhat.’
Merkel didn’t go into detail about the “turmoil in the world,” but it seems safe to say that at least some of it has been caused by President Trump.
Featured image via Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images.