Europe can no longer completely depend on the US and UK following the election of President Trump and Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said. Mrs. Merkel said she wanted friendly relations with both countries as well as Russia but Europe now had to fight for its own destiny.
The German chancellor comments come after Mr. Trump refused to re-commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal at the G7 summit. Mrs. Merkel is on the campaign trail ahead of elections in September.
The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days, Angela Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany.
The relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron had to be a priority, Mrs. Merkel said, adding: We Europeans have to take our destiny into our own hands.
On Saturday, the German leader had described climate change talks at the G7 group of rich nations as very unsatisfactory.
Leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan had re-affirmed their support for the Paris accord - but Mr. Trump said he would make a decision in the coming week.
Mr. Trump has previously pledged to abandon the Paris deal, and expressed doubts about climate change. Speaking in Brussels last week, Mr. Trump also told NATO members to spend more money on defense and did not re-state his administration's commitment to NATO's mutual security guarantees.
Polls suggest Mrs. Merkel is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term as German chancellor at elections in September.
With four months to go before elections, Angela Merkel's position also looks stronger than ever domestically. Initial enthusiasm for her centre-left rival Martin Schulz has fizzled out. And Sunday's beer-tent event underscored her strength by marking an end to a potential split with her Bavarian sister conservative party.
She might not have welcomed Brexit or Trump. But it seems that Mrs. Merkel has decided that standing up for the EU will only strengthen her chances of winning another term in September.