Germany's Merkel calls for unified European approach on migration

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

The European leader-famed for negotiating compromise without political histrionics-gave an uncharacteristically candid and combative assessment of relations with Trump as she spoke to German channel ARD, after last week's G-7 summit.

She said the European Union would "act" against the USA trade measures, which European leaders regard as going against the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Speaking on German television Merkel also expressed regret about President Donald Trump's surprise decision to withdraw his endorsement of the recent G7 summit's final communique. Trump then declared on Twitter that he no longer endorsed the statement.

"I accepted that. And we will push ahead with it", Seehofer told a news conference in Berlin. A White House adviser later admitted that Trump's desire to appear strong was partly the reason for this move.

Merkel's open-door policy for Germany has already been gradually scaled back and Christian Democrat General-Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely seen as a possible successor to Merkel, said the party's leadership supported her position.

Turning to Russia, Merkel said she could imagine Moscow re-joining the G7 format at some point, but there first had to be progress in the implementation of the peace plan for Ukraine.

"We must decide who comes to Europe, not the smugglers", said Kurz, who is due to meet with Seehofer on Wednesday.

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The German chancellor's comments on Sunday come after Trudeau announced that Canada would implement its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Trump had given Canada, the European Union and Mexico temporary exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs he first announced in March, but said at the end of May that he would be ending the exemptions. Canada are hosting the leaders of the UK, Italy, the US, France, Germany and Japan for the two day summit, in the town of La Malbaie.

On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a fallout with Trump when he held a press conference after the latter departed Quebec to attend the North Korea summit in Singapore. Mr Trump called him "very dishonest and weak" in a tweet after Mr Trudeau repeated criticisms of USA tariffs on imported steel and aluminium and Mr Trump's trade policies in a news conference following the Group of Seven meeting in Quebec.

Guy Verhofstaft, the European Union parliament's representative in Brexit negotiations and former prime minister of Belgium, shared a photo of Merkel staring down President Trump during a meeting at the G7 summit.

The French president's office said in a statement: "International co-operation can not be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks". Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs sparked tension at the meeting.

Looking focused or exasperated depending on the viewer's interpretation, Merkel is flanked by British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, their faces largely obscured.

"We spend two days working out a [joint] statement and commitments". "We stand by it and whoever leaves it and turns their back on it is showing inconsistency and lack of character".

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