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Charlottesville violence: Germany's foreign minister says Donald Trump's far-right defence is 'a huge mistake'

Berlin: Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday US president Donald Trump had made "a huge mistake" by failing to clearly condemn the white supremacist, neo-Nazi and "alt-right" rally in Charlottesville.

People paying floral tribute to the victims of Charlottesville killing. AP

People paying floral tribute to the victims of Charlottesville killing. AP

Trump on Tuesday said there had been "very fine people, on both sides" at a violent clash between the far right and anti-fascists Saturday in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville.

Gabriel said that "creating an equivalence between the two sides instead of clearly rejecting the Nazi-leaning side, that was a huge mistake".

"And it is wrong," he said in an interview with national news agency DPA. "It shows how enmeshed part of Trump's support base is with the far-right in the United States. His chief ideologue (Steve) Bannon is close to them."

A violent fracas broke out at the Charlottesville rally attended by members of organised neo-Nazi and so-called alt-right groups protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.

One counter-protester was killed when a suspected Nazi sympathiser drove a car into a crowd.

Trump's initial response was criticised by those demanding a strong condemnation of racism and violence, but his further remarks on Tuesday — when he doubled down on his claim that there had been "blame on both sides" — set off a political firestorm.

Published Date: Aug 17, 2017 16:03 PM | Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 16:03 PM

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