Trump repeats criticism of Germany, Merkel stands by stance

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted Germany for its trade practices and what he views as its shortchanging of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, further weakening a partnership widely viewed as key to global stability.

The comments underline the shift in the relationship between the United States and Europe following a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels and Group of Seven summit in Sicily with President Donald Trump.

In Berlin, Merkel reiterated her position that "we in Europe have to take our fate into our own hands". There was widespread anger in Germany in 2013 when it was revealed the US National Security Agency tapped Merkel's phone.

Merkel talked to Modi in Berlin about developing cooperation with India.

On Sunday, Merkel showed the gravity of her concern about Washington's dependability under Trump when she warned, at an election campaign event in a packed Bavarian beer tent - that the times when Europe could fully rely on others were "over to a certain extent".

When Trump returned over the weekend from the first foreign trip of his presidency, his aides hailed the tour as a success and a sign of renewed and bolder United States leadership on the world stage.

After failing to sway Trump, Merkel has turned her attention to forging consensus among other G-20 nations at a summit meeting she's hosting in Hamburg in July.

In a major boost to Merkel, who has been fighting against secessionist tendencies within the economic bloc since the Brexit vote in June past year, the prime minister praised her "strong leadership". Beyond policy issues, his shoving of the Montenegrin prime minister and macho handshakes with Macron deepened the skepticism.

Merkel said she and Modi had discussed open markets and free and fair trade during their meeting in Berlin.

Trump has also said he plans to make a decision this week on whether to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord - widely considered a key achievement of the Obama administration and a necessary measure if the world wants to avoid a sharp rise in global temperatures. Trump's refusal to give allies any indication of whether he would stay in the Paris climate agreement left a bad taste.

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