Germany’s foreign minister said President Trump’s “short-sighted” policies have “weakened” western nations and damaged the European Union, according to a report on Monday.
“Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk,” Sigmar Gabriel told Agence France Presse.
“The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union,” he said, adding that “the West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker.”
Gabriel’s comments come a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted Trump for lecturing NATO allies on their financial commitment to the alliance and for refusing to say whether he would allow the US to remain in the Paris climate change accord to curb carbon emissions worldwide.
Merkel concluded that Germany could no longer “depend on the US.”
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out,” Merkel said on Sunday . “I’ve experienced that in the last few days. [Europeans] must really take our destiny into our own hands.”
In blistering comments that stunned NATO-member leaders during a meeting in Brussels last week, Trump lectured nations lagging in their obligations to increase defense spending and refused to endorse the organization’s mutual defense pledge that an attack on one is an attack on all nations.
Then he angered members Group of Seven democratic countries meeting in Italy by refusing to say he would remain in the Paris climate change agreement brokered by former President Obama.
The G-7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain – all support the accord and 195 countries have signed on to it.
Trump, who in the past has called global warming a “hoax,” said he would make a decision this week.
On Monday, Merkel’s spokesman said Germany was still committed on strengthening ties with Washington.
US-Germany relations “are a strong pillar of our foreign and security policy, and Germany will continue working to strengthen these relations,” Steffen Seibert told The Associated Press.
“Precisely because they are so important, it’s right to name differences honestly.”
Seibert added that Merkel is “a convinced trans-Atlanticist” but her recent remarks about the U.S. “speaks for itself.”
Trump’s remarks to America’s allies not only angered European leaders, it also infuriated some US diplomats, with one telling the Daily Beast his arrogance could harm foreign policy.
“When it comes to diplomacy, President Trump is a drunk tourist,” a State Department official told the Daily Beast. “Loud and tacky, shoving his way around the dance floor. He steps on others without realizing it. It’s ineffectual.”
The official took exception to Trump’s not endorsing the Paris accord, calling it an “abdication of American leadership.”
”“One hundred and ninety-five nations never agree on anything, so when they do, accepting the measure should be easy,” the official said. “The United States needs to be out front on this pact.”