Italy backs Merkel call for stronger Europe in age of Trump

Not helping matters was Trump reportedly calling Germans "very bad", because the country exports far more cars to the United States than it imports.

Merkel, among other European leaders, was sharply critical of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision at the recent G-7 meeting in Sicily not to reiterate support for the 2015 Paris agreement to combat climate change.

"Germany will always find India as powerful, prepared and capable partner", Modi said at a joint press interaction after holding talks with Merkel, PTI reported.

Trump last week accused Germany and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of not paying their "fair share" in defence spending, in a speech in front of world leaders.

"That's what the president called for, he called for additional burden-sharing", Spicer said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held the fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) during which the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and the two sides inked 12 agreements/Memorandum of Understandings (MoU).

"Today, we have witnessed the signing of number of agreements and declaration of intent, total of 1 billion Euros goes into development cooperation in areas like smart cities, renewable energy, established a solar partnership with India and its impressive to see the way in which India is speeding up the solar energy in its country", she added.

The relationship between Merkel and Trump contrasts with the warm ties between her and former United States president Barack Obama - who last week travelled to Berlin to attend a key Protestant conference.

Modi and Merkel will also jointly address the India-Germany Business Summit later in the day.

And while German politicians sided with Merkel, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel signaled that it was time for cooler heads to prevail.

It's unclear exactly how Trump plans to change trade with Germany.

Merkel stressed that diplomacy is not a zero-sum game and that while Berlin was building strong ties with the rising Asian powers, transatlantic ties remained "of paramount importance".

Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the Chancellor remained committed to strong trans-Atlantic relations, but her suggestion after meetings with Mr Trump, that Europe can no longer entirely rely on the USA, "speaks for itself".

"We, the Europeans, will have to take our fate into our own hands".

On May 30, Trump took to Twitter to double down on his criticisms of Germany that he had vocalized during his foreign trip.

In an apparent reference to President Trump, he added that "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".

  • Leroy Wright