US President-elect Donald Trump recently slammed NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) for being obsolete. He also hailed Britain on its decision to exit the European Union (EU). His comments form a part of his interview with The Times of London and German newspaper Bild, that has everyone worried and anxious. As a result, his views drew reactions from various European leaders. They are worried about US and EU relations, EU’s future and US’ commitment to the transatlantic alliance. Despite promising to co-operate with him on all possible levels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin that Europeans now have their destiny in their own hands.
France’s foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault too responded to Trump’s latest interview. He revealed that the best way to react to Trump’s statements was by uniting. This begs an answer to the question: Is EU ready to go ahead without US?
An article in the Washington Post informs that EU leaders are hoping that Trump will moderate his stand once he moves into the White House. But at the moment, they have to move ahead with a realization that there might be a possible break-up between the US and the EU. The two regions were in sync on issues related to war, trade and immigration for a long time. However, Trump believes that EU does not matter much when it comes to the future of United States.
“Personally, I don’t think it matters much for the United States. I never thought it mattered,” he said. His statement was a reply to a question about what was better for US—stronger EU or strong nation states. “Look, the EU was formed, partially, to beat the United States on trade, OK? So, I don’t really care whether it’s separate or together, to me it doesn’t matter,” he added.
US and NATO
While on the topic of NATO, the President-elect said that NATO had problems. The full transcript of interview published by The Times states that Trump believes the organization is obsolete. This is because it was designed many years ago and is not taking care of terror. “And the other thing is the countries aren’t paying their fair share so we’re supposed to protect countries but a lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States. With that being said, Nato is very important to me,” he added.
His comments on NATO caused ‘astonishment’ among EU leaders. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is the foreign Minister of Germany revealed that he had come from a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General and said that the organization had listened to Trump’s concerns. The organization believes that US would stay committed to the alliance despite the concerns, states a News.com.au report.
An article in Independent reveals Merkel is now working to set a meeting with the President-elect after he takes office. She will of course represent the 20 EU nations. It is now only a matter of time till we know if she continues to keep his trust in EU.
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