With the inauguration just a few days away, President-elect Donald Trump made a controversial comment on the stance of his European counterparts. While these remarks may seem reasonable to some, they appear to be annoying to most of the European top leaders.
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Speaking in an interview, Donald Trump said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is ‘obsolete’. His stand on NATO has always been aggressive. Hence, it’s not much of a surprise to hear such comments. In the interview, Trump reasoned that NATO wasn’t taking care of ongoing terror.
Alongside the remarks on NATO, Trump also noted that Brexit will ‘end up being a great thing’ for the UK. When he was asked about the US ties with Germany, Trump refrained from stating which side he trusted – Angela Merkel or Vladimir Putin. He said, “Well, I start off trusting both – but let’s see how long that lasts. It may not last long at all.”
It’s not the first time Trump picked on Merkel. He wasn’t very happy about Merkel winning TIMES person of the year 2015. Hence, he took the frustration to Twitter.
Europe reacts to Trump
After the statements from the US counterpart, European leaders have reacted diplomatically alluding to the protection of their sovereignty. French President Francois Hollande said that Europe ‘does not need outside advice’. His exact words: “Europe will be ready to pursue transatlantic cooperation, but it will be based on its interests and values. It does not need outside advice to tell it what to do.”
Likewise, another powerful leader, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, also implied about European sovereignty and competency. She said, “I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands. I’m personally going to wait until the American president takes office, and then we will naturally work with him on all levels.”
While these remarks from European leaders hold a little hostility, British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, reacted in a welcoming way. On Trump’s remarks on Brexit, Johnson said, “[It’s] very good news that the United States of America wants to do a good free trade deal with us and wants to do it very fast.”