Merkel spokesman: Germany still seeking stronger US ties

"I experienced that in the last a few days, and therefore I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States and in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever it is possible, also with Russian Federation and also with all the other countries".

Her comments mark a potentially radical shift in US-German relations, as well as the US' relationship with Western Europe as a whole.

"It's not breaking away from anything she has said in the past", Möller said. "Trump accelerates it, but it was to be expected". And it may signal that Merkel, for the first time in her dozen years in power and approaching her fourth election in September, sees Europe as a vote victor. Asked about the comments, May said it was right for the rest of the bloc to look at its future but made it clear that Britain wanted to remain a key partner.

Merkel's differences with Trump stand in stark contrast to the close relationship she shared with former president Barack Obama.

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"With change comes insecurity, skepticism. and, not infrequently, the glorification of the supposedly good old days", Merkel said.

Schulz, Merkel's competitor for the chancellorship in September, was already speaking to broadcasters Sunday night calling a stronger Europe the answer to the frayed relationship with America.

Schulz likened Trump's behaviour at those meetings to that of an "authoritarian leader" who wants to "humiliate others". "And above all else, we must not submit to Trump's arms-race logic".

He added, however, that he hopes "we can win back the United States one day, because there are also large parts of American society that we must not forget". Then, at the Group of Seven summit of leaders of major world economies on Friday and Saturday, he refused to endorse the Paris agreements on combating climate change, punting a decision until next week.

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"Here is a situation where it's six, seven if you include the European Union, against one", she said. "NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense", Trump said.

Trump also lectured his counterparts Thursday on their failure to meet North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending guidelines.

"The belief in shared values has been shattered by the Trump administration", said Stephan Bierling, an expert on transatlantic relations at Germany's University of Regensburg. "She's someone who is very sober about the guys with the big agendas and big egos, be it (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, be it (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, be it Trump".

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