Merkel says can develop India ties and keep up USA relationship

Modi wrote before his trip that "India and Germany are large democracies, major economies and important players in regional and global affairs".

"Germany also welcomed India's intensified engagement with the other export control regimes- the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement-and expressed its support for India's early accession to these regimes".

Both leaders also underlined their determination to ease bilateral trade and investment and pointed to the potential of open markets and the importance of investment protection for foreign investors for deepening trade relations and for attracting investments to the mutual benefit of both countries. Merkel last week had said that reliable ties forged since the end of World War II "are to some extent over".

The remarks came soon after G7 and NATO summits, where news reports suggested that not all was well between her and Trump, who is leading the U.S. towards a more protectionist stance on economic issues and has called for NATO to pay for their share of expenditure of the Atlantic alliance.

Many of Modi's comments contrasted sharply with positions of Trump, who has denied climate change, criticised the European Union, predicted more countries will leave the European Union and spoken out against free trade while pushing an "America First" policy. Trump has vowed to walk away from the historic Paris deal while Merkel supports the agreement.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Modi, she reiterated her view that "we need to take our fate in Europe into our own hands".

Last Sunday - after a G7 summit in which Trump and the other six western powers again sparred on climate, defence funding and other key issues - Merkel said Europe could no longer completely rely on traditional allies the United States and Britain in the age of Trump and Brexit.

"Others", in this case, seems to be a euphemism; Merkel was clearly talking about the United States.

Soon after her comments, Trump swiftly blasted Germany over trade imbalance. Soon after her statement, Trump tweeted, "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military".

Gabriel went as far as to say the "dropping out as an important nation". "This will change (sic)", he tweeted. "The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union".

"Everything that happens in India - politically, economically and socially - has, because of the country's size and importance, a direct impact on the whole world, including us".

  • Leroy Wright