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Home / US / After Obama, an emotional Merkel vowed to defend the liberal world order against Trump, book claims

After Obama, an emotional Merkel vowed to defend the liberal world order against Trump, book claims




The photo from 7 July 201
7 shows the German Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. (19659002) BERLIN – After Donald Trump was elected President on 8 November 2016, his future German counterpart, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, offered her "close cooperation", at least if Trump shared common values ​​such as "democracy, freedom and respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or political views. "

It seemed to be pure coincidence that the German Chancellor also announced two weeks later that she would run for a fourth term after thinking about it for "an eternity".

In interviews at that time, her considerations behind another run seemed to be mainly related to the rise of populism in Germany. "Can I do anything to promote cohesion in our polarized society? I think I can help to weaken the rhetoric: instead of hating ourselves, we should debate like democrats."

Merkel was referring to populists in Germany, the underlying message could also be very well directed against Trump to a memoir, which will be published next week. In "The World as It Is: A Reminder to the Obama White House," recalled Ben Rhodes, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, about how Merkel Obama said after Trump's victory that the election had contributed to her decision, re-run defense of the liberal world order, according to excerpts of the New York Times on Thursday.


In this photo from June 8, 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with President Barack Obama near Garmisch-Partenkirchen the Siebener summit. (Michael Kappeler / pool photo via AP)

In his book, Rhodes describes an emotional farewell to Merkel and Obama as president and writes that she has a single tear in her eyes. "She's all alone," Rhodes quoted Obama at that time.

The excerpt does not show when the conversation took place, but Rhodes probably refers to Obama's visit to Berlin in mid-November, days after Trump's victory. 19659009] When Obama left the world stage, Merkel was almost immediately declared the new "leader of the free world" – a title that she later recognized and made her uncomfortable.

Merkel's most characteristic traits were long-term caution. For years it has done well and helped its rivals and other up-and-coming stars, but it seems to be a strategy that seems to be better suited to the German consensus-political system than to a US president who is described by officials as "unpredictable". is called "unpredictable."

Even as Trump hit Twitter on Twitter, Merkel's most aggressive response remained a sober assessment. The times when their continent could rely on others were, to some degree, "over," she said last May at a crowded beer hall rally. "I've experienced that in the last few days."

The Chancellor was applauded for her comments at the time, but critics say Merkel has not done enough to pursue her words ever since.

After half a year of coalition talks that had weakened them, and given the growing desire in France to recapture a leading role on the world stage, Merkel's Germany now appears less ready and less likely to defend the liberal world order than it did two years ago Years

Few Germans believe that their country should play a more influential role in global affairs anyway, and 52 percent said in a recent survey of Körber Foundation that more restraint would be beneficial. That's one of the reasons why the German military is so chronically underfunded that it's practically "not fit for collective defense," according to an independent commissioner.

Even if Merkel ignored this attitude, she would have few opportunities to directly confront Trump. When Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, Iran's nuclear deal and free trade commitments, German leaders said they could not do anything about it or that they would try to de-escalate tensions.

So far, German efforts Maintaining the international liberal order has focused on strengthening European institutions and trying to alleviate some of the tension surrounding Trump's policy on Iran, Israel and China.

One of Merkel's most confrontational projects was the North Stream 2 pipeline connecting Central Europe with Russian gas supplies. Critics, including the US government, say the pipeline would make Germany too dependent on Russia. The Federal Government has vehemently denied this.

And yet, defending Russian-European projects against US criticism was probably not what anyone had in mind when it came to defending the liberal international order.

Read more:

Germany does not become a "leader of the free world", and Germans do not mind


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