Published: Wed, January 18, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Germany's Steinmeier says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concerned at Trump remarks

Germany's Steinmeier says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concerned at Trump remarks

Germany can not afford to give in to intimidation and threats of protectionism from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and to do so even once would invite repeated bullying, a key conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

Trump was less kind to German industry officials, saying vehicle manufacturers including BMW could face tariffs of up to 35 per cent if they set up plants in Mexico instead of in the US and try to export the cars to the U.S.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking to reporters ahead of a European Union foreign ministers meeting, said Trump's view on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has "caused astonishment" and is contradictory to what his pick for defense secretary, General James Mattis, told senators during his confirmation hearing last week.

Whatever his goal, Trump's comments were strong enough to make him the talk of the town in European capitals. "Five. It's not much", he said.

"We're gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly", said Trump, confirming he will meet Theresa May, UK prime minister, soon after his inauguration on Friday.

During the interview, Trump said the United Kingdom was "doing great" leaving the European Union and showed eagerness to achieve a trade deal with the country "very quickly".

Mr Trump also said he believed Europe's migration crisis had been the deciding factor in the UK's referendum vote to leave the European Union, and thought German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an error when she opened Germany's doors to migrants. "And nobody even knows where they come from", Mr Trump said, adding he had "great respect" for the chancellor.

"There's a decreasing number of areas where we can engage cooperatively and an increasing number of areas where we're going to have to confront Russian Federation", he said.

There has even been fears the US military commitment to Europe would wane under Trump.

In a ceremony as snow fell over the weekend, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the first contingents of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Carson, Colorado, "We have waited for you for a very long time".

"We Europeans have our destiny in our own hands", Mrs. Merkel said in Berlin, according to Agence France-Presse, adding that the vast bulk of the Syrians taken in by Germany were not terrorists but refugees fleeing the country's brutal civil war.

The agreement "has delivered both on the nuclear-related commitments Iran took and on the firm determination of the worldwide community to fully implement this deal", she said.

"NATO is working but there are things about it that need to change and there are parts of it that are, in the words of Trump, 'obsolete, '" Scaramucci said.

Taking an aim at the Republican president-elect without mentioning his name, Hollande said that the relations between the United States and Europe "have always been founded on in the same principles and values. But I find it was very unhappy what happened".

Mr Trump repeated his criticism of President Barack Obama's handling of the Iran nuclear agreement, calling it "one of the dumbest deals I've ever seen".

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