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German FM Refuses to 'Hush Up' EU-US Tensions as War of Words Heats Up

© REUTERS / John MacDougallFrench President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump confer at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump confer at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. - Sputnik International
Ahead of the G7 summit in Canada, Heiko Maas has lambasted the US President and his administration over their recent political decisions, which harm Europe. His remarks came soon after France’s President Macron took aim at Trump, mentioning the possible isolation of the US.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who represents the Social Democrats in the government, has told the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that there are differences between Berlin and Washington, and that his country “can not hush up." He pointed at Donald Trump’s one-sided withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the Iran deal and imposing import tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Europe vigorously opposed, fearing negative consequences. According to Maas, the US president "consciously took into account the immediate impact on Europe, following his decisions."

Maas specifically pointed at the pulling out from the Iran deal, saying it was particularly critical for international relations and reliability.

"We were used to being able to rely on agreements, and this has changed fundamentally," he told the media.

Maas stressed that Trump’s policy brings far-reaching changes, as he’s turned down the multilateral rules-of-play, pursuing American interests with one-sided actions.  Although the Foreign Minister assured that the US "remains our closest partner outside Europe," he stated that the European Union should consider finding new partners.  The key principle in this mission would be to secure an "alliance with those who want to preserve the multilateral world order." He pointed to Canada as well as countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia as potential partners.

Maas’ remarks have come days before the upcoming summit of the world’s leading economies, the G7, which is to take place in the Canadian city La Malbaie, and echoed the harsh words of France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel stated in her Q&A session in the Bundestag, commenting on Trump’s policy: "There is no point in randomly patching up our differences.” The French President was more menacing and hinted at walking away from the G7 to create another alliance which would exclude the US.

READ MORE: Trump Fires Back at France, Canada as Macron Speaks of 'G6' Confronting US

France’s Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also sharply criticized Washington’s trade strategy, calling on the European Union to stand together against the hostile US moves. According to him, “the US has decided to play by the rules of the multilateral order to protect its own economic interests one-sidedly with sanctions and import duties without taking into account Germany, Great Britain and France, its oldest and closest allies.”

“We won’t talk with a pistol pointed at our chest,” he said at the conference in Berlin.

During the summit in Canada, the G7 leaders are supposed to concentrate on such topics as gender equality and climate change. However the recent US moves may prompt them to add tariffs and the Iran deal to the agenda. In addition to the G7 members, participants included Argentina, Bangladesh, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Marshal Islands, Norway, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa and Vietnam. Iran's leaders were invited to an Outreach Session.

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