Angela Merkel calls US retraction of support 'sobering and somewhat depressing'

Merkel left lobbied Trump not to impose tariffs on European vehicle exports to the U.S

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe needs to step up to play a more assertive role in global affairs as U.S. President Donald Trump dismantles the post-World War II order, setting the stage for a potential tense standoff at the Group of Seven summit this week.

According to the worldwide news agency his move "torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between Washington and its top allies", Canada and the European Union among them.

"Reneging in a tweet is sobering and a bit depressing", Merkel said in the interview with broadcaster ARD late Sunday.

US President Donald Trump is seated amid a crowd of officials.

In the run-up to the G7 summit, Trump continued to rile up his fellow world leaders with accusations of unfair trade practices, provoking angry responses from both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, who even suggested that the G7 could fare as the G6, without the United States if need be.

The flags of Germany, France and the European Union are seen in front of the the Chancellery, before the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, Germany May 15, 2017. Trump focused his conversation with Macron on German trade for about 15 minutes in the one-hour meeting.

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Merkel said she first found out about Trump's decision on the flight back from Canada.

She also spoke about Trump's suggestion that Russian Federation be readmitted to the G-7, from which it was booted after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Captured and circulated by Mr Trump's team, another photo doesn't even show Mrs Merkel as the Republican firebrand takes centre stage in the middle of a crowd of world leaders who look to get his attention. Echoing a series of comments she's made about the erosion of US-European ties, Merkel expressed consternation about Trump's disavowal of the G-7's joint closing statement.

Closer home, Indian Twitter users spotted an opportunity to make the photo more relatable by editing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Trump's place, asking when they would receive the Rs 15 lakhs Bharatiya Janata Party leaders promised each Indian would receive if they were voted into power in 2014.

Russia has not released its hold on Crimea and has not been willing to negotiate on the Minsk Protocol agreement, which would ease the Russian occupation of the region; most recently, 14 Russian nationals were indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering with the 2016 US election, including the former business partner (and suspected Russian spy) of Paul Manafort, Trump's one-time campaign manager.

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