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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.

 Charlottesville violence: Germanys foreign minister says Donald Trumps far-right defence is a huge mistake

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.

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Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 16:03:40 IST