Trump tweets against Germany, escalating row after tense summits

Lance Nichols
May 31, 2017

Modi said economic collaboration between Germany and India was still "below full potential".

At an election rally in Munich in southern Germany on Sunday, Merkel told the crowd: "The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out".

"The Prime Minister has allied herself with Donald Trump and these comments are the inevitable outcome", Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said.

Soon after his arrival here on Monday on a two-day visit to Germany, Modi and Merkel held a private meeting in the latter's country resort of Schloss Meseberg, some 65 km from Berlin, in which a range of issues, including climate change and the fight against terror, figured. Merkel last week had said that reliable ties forged since the end of World War II "are to some extent over".

"The Germans are bad, very bad".

Trump has also demanded that Germany spend more on defence and called Merkel's open-door migration policy a "catastrophic mistake".

U.S. President Donald Trump responded by tweeting on Tuesday: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military".

For his part, Modi declared that "the world needs a strong leadership, which is demonstrated by Chancellor Merkel".

"That's of huge importance and in no way directed against any other relationships and certainly not against the trans-Atlantic ties, which have historically been very important for us and will remain so in future", she said.

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.

In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said he agreed with Merkel that Europe needed to forge its own path.

Noting that India attaches great value to the German partnership and has had several meetings with CEOs from that country, Modi said that India had been progressively easing its rules on doing business to encourage foreign investment. PM Modi also added that Germany contributed in a big way in the success of 'Make in India.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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