Modi supports Merkel's European Union leadership as Trump critises Germany

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday (May 30) to complain about a USA trade deficit with Germany and his belief that the country must pay more for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance. "Germany will always find India as powerful, prepared and capable partner", Modi said at a joint press interaction after holding talks with Merkel.

Modi's support comes at a crucial time for Merkel, who has been fighting secessionist tendencies within the bloc since Britain chose to leave the 28-member bloc through a referendum in June past year. He praised Ms Merkel's experience and Germany's economic example to India. "This is a new situation - we lived for decades in the certainty that we could rely on each other as partners in an alliance, and this certainty no longer exists today".

Merkel last week had said that reliable ties forged since the end of World War II "are to some extent over".

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, from the Social Democratic Party, which governs in coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, said on Monday that Trump's policies pose a danger to Europe.

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 USA towards a more protectionist stance on economic issues and has called for NATO to pay for their share of expenditure of the Atlantic alliance.

The two sides also expressed their interest in exploring the possibilities to cooperate in their assistance to African countries.

Trump is now mad at Merkel.

"Europe and the world are facing lots of challenges and to fight those, India believes, the world needs the strong leadership of Chancellor Merkel", Modi added.

"Transatlantic ties are of paramount importance to us. but the current situation gives more reasons for.us to take our destiny in our own hands", she said, stressing that "Europe must become a player active in worldwide affairs".

Trump criticized Germany's trade surplus with the United States on Tuesday, tying the issue to Berlin's military spending.

Ms Merkel and Mr Modi stressed their mutual values on the economy and climate change, with the Indian leader suggesting he will adhere to the Paris Agreement to combat global warming even if the USA quits. "This will change (sic)".

Modi, who along with Merkel held the fourth India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) to set a roadmap for the bilateral strategic ties, said they conducted a comprehensive review of bilateral relations.

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