German envoy to US Peter Wittig downplays tensions between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel

Berlin: Downplaying the increased tensions between US president Donald Trump and German chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin's envoy to Washington Peter Wittig has described the bilateral relationship as "good and productive".

"This is a healthy relationship. Chancellor Merkel and the US president have a good and productive relationship," said ambassador Wittig on Wednesday.

"They met in Washington very extensively. They met now in Europe. They are on the phone frequently," he added.

File image of German chancellor Angela Merkel (L) with US president Donald Trump (R). AP

File image of German chancellor Angela Merkel (left) with US president Donald Trump (right). AP

Trump on Tuesday called Germany's trade and military spending policies "very bad" for the US as tensions between him and Merkel increased, Xinhua news agency reported.

His remarks came two days after Merkel cast doubts on the European Union's alignment with the US and Britain, saying that Europeans should determine their own destiny.

Addressing an election campaign in Bavaria, Merkel on Sunday said that following Trump's election and Brexit, Europeans "really have to take destiny into their own hands".

"The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over," Merkel said.

Germany's minister for foreign affairs Sigmar Gabriel also criticised president Trump on Monday, accusing him of "short sighted policies which stand against the European Union and are weakening the West".

However, as tensions between the two sides escalated rapidly, Merkel on Tuesday stressed German ties with the US, saying that the relationship is of "outstanding importance".


Published Date: Jun 01, 2017 02:43 pm | Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 02:43 pm


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