29, May 2017
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has harshly criticized Donald Trump, saying the US president’s actions have “weakened the West” and his “short-sighted” policies have hurt European Union interests.
Gabriel made the scathing remarks on the sidelines of the third round-table discussion on refugees in Berlin on Monday, after Trump concluded his first official tour abroad, which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israeli-occupied territories, Belgium and then Italy for a G7 summit.
The highlight of his multi-faceted trip was a 110-billion-dollar arms deal between Washington and Riyadh, which included the sale of ships, tanks and anti-missile systems to the kingdom.
“Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk,” the German foreign minister said.
“The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union,” he said, adding that, “The West has become smaller; at least it has become weaker.”
Gabriel also called on Europe to stand up to the new US administration and not shy away from making criticism. “The Trump administration wants to terminate climate agreements, wants to enforce military action in crisis regions and won’t allow people from certain religious circles to enter the US,” he said.
“If the Europeans are not resolutely opposing to this right now, the migration flow to Europe will continue to grow. Those who do not oppose this US policy are guilty,” Gabriel noted. Days earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed frustration at the way Trump handled a debate on climate change in the G7 summit by refusing to sign up to upholding the 2015 Paris climate accord.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had vowed to revise US commitments under the Paris Agreement, saying the deal, which he had branded as a Chinese hoax, would seriously harm jobs inside the United States while it hugely benefits countries like China. Trump and European governments have clashed on other issues, including Trump’s criticism that NATO allies have repeatedly failed to meet the alliance’s military spending commitment of 2.0 percent of GDP.