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Merkel: Europe’s Fate Is in Own Hands

Europe’s destiny lies in its own hands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday inEurope’s destiny lies in its own hands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday in

Europe’s destiny lies in its own hands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday in response to comments from US president-elect, Donald Trump, who said in a newspaper interview he believed other countries would leave the EU after Britain.

“I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands,” Merkel told a joint news conference with New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English, Reuters reported.

Asked about Trump’s criticism of her migrant policy, Merkel said, “I am personally waiting for the inauguration of the US president. Then, of course, we will work with him on all levels.”

This is while the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday Trump’s comments that NATO was obsolete had aroused concern across the 28-member alliance.

Steinmeier, speaking after a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, said Trump’s remarks contradicted views expressed by designated Defense Secretary James Mattis. He spoke also of “amazement”.

“I’ve spoken today not only with EU foreign ministers but NATO foreign ministers as well and can report that the signals are that there’s been no easing of tensions,” Steinmeier told reporters when asked about Trump’s interview with Bild newspaper and the Times of London.

“Obviously the comments from president-elect Trump, that he views NATO as obsolete, were viewed with anxiety.”

Trump, who is due to be sworn in as president on Friday, said NATO was obsolete because it had not defended against terrorist attacks.

He said also he had always had “great respect” for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but criticized her 2015 decision to allow in a wave of a million migrants as a “catastrophic mistake” that opened the door to terrorist attacks.

NATO has been seen since the 1950s as the keystone of western European defenses, extending its zone of activity in the post-Cold War period to the borders of Russia much to Russia’s chagrin.

The alliance’s founding treaty commits members to consider an attack on any one state as an attack on all.

A Kremlin spokesman said he agreed with Trump that NATO, characterized by Russian officials as a hostile remnant of the Cold War, was obsolete.

 

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