Questions over the future of US-German relations

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Questions over the future of US-German relations German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and the President of France, Francois Hollande shake hands after a joint statement as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

The new U.S. president is conducting a great deal of phone diplomacy during his first week in office. According to the White House, Trump plans to call the Presidents of Russia and France this weekend. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is also on his list.
CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports.
Follow Guy Henderson on Twitter @guyhendersonde

Questions over the future of US German relations

Questions over the future of US German relations

The new U.S. president is conducting a great deal of phone diplomacy during his first week in office. According to the White House, Trump plans to call the Presidents of Russia and France this weekend. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is also on his list. CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports.
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It’s been a busy few days for Donald Trump. Across the Atlantic, America’s allies remain diplomatic. The new U.S. president seems to be showing he’ll be true to his word in office, which is not good news for Europe’s liberals.

On Thursday, Theresa May became the first foreign leader to visit the new White House. She’s the prime minister set to take Britain out of a European Union that the German Chancellor is trying to hold together.

“I don’t think this is necessarily a zero sum game. It seems clear to me that May also wants to persuade president Trump that Europe is an important ally and that the west should come together in the face of global challenges,” David-Wilk of German Marshall Fund Sudha said.

The trust between Angela Merkel and Barack Obama helped Germany become perhaps the U.S.’s most important ally. Obama’s successor Trump has called the German leaders’ refugee policies “insane” on the campaign trail and he has kept up some of the criticism.

Merkel allies say Germany must be prepared to go its own way.

Karl-Georg Wellmann of German Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee thinks Germany’s relationship to President Trump is the one million dollar question.

“We do not have a rich uncle any more in America who is nice to its children. We have to follow our own interests,” said Wellmann.

Obama’s last call to a foreign leader before he left office was to Angela Merkel. Trump says he trusts her as much as he does Vladimir Putin. What impact that might have on Germany’s relationship with the United States going forward isn’t clear yet. But an increasingly powerful Berlin appears to be more willing to speak up for interests and values that the Trump White House may not share.