France, Germany slam Trump’s G7 U-turn

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PARIS: France and Germany have criticised US President Donald Trump for threatening to pull the United States out of a joint statement with key G7 allies. Trump tweeted Saturday that he had instructed his representatives not to sign a communique between the seven nations that make up the group just after host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced all countries had agreed to it. Key to Trump’s concerns appeared to be declarations on trade, a thorny issue following Trump’s announcement that he planned to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. France’s Elysee Palace has said that the country and Europe as a whole maintained their support for the communique.

“International cooperation can’t depend on anger and small words. Let’s be serious and worthy of our people. We spent two days obtaining a draft and commitments. We stick to it. And anyone who leaves and turns their back on them shows their inconsistency,” the palace said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called on European nations to stick together following Trump’s announcement. “It’s actually not a real surprise. We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal. In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 Twitter characters. To build that up again will take much longer,” he told reporters in Berlin. —AFP

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