German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined her doubts about the reliability of the United States as an ally but said she was a "convinced trans-Atlanticist", fine-tuning her message after surprising Washington with her frankness a day earlier.
- Ms Merkel warned against seeking "simple answers" to complex issues
- Social Democrats' Martin Schulz said Europe "must not submit to Trump's arms-race logic"
- German elections to be held on 24 September 2017
She made those comments, which sent shock waves through Washington, after Mr Trump criticised major NATO allies over their military spending and refused to endorse a global climate change accord at back-to-back summits last week.
"Recent days have shown me that the times when we could rely completely on others are over to a certain extent," Ms Merkel said.
While she made clear Berlin and Washington would "of course" remain close partners, Ms Merkel stuck to her language from Sunday.
"We also know that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands," she added, underlining Europe's frustration with Mr Trump on climate policy in particular.
"It became clear at the G7, when there was no agreement with the USA, how long and rocky this path would be.
"I think it was good not to gloss over the differences."
We must not submit to 'arms-race logic': SchulzMs Merkel indirectly warned Mr Trump he risked isolating the US: "Anyone who today puts on national blinkers and no longer has eyes for the world around him is, I am convinced, ultimately out on a limb."
Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters Ms Merkel felt it was right to flag differences in Germany's ties with the United States in order to maintain healthy relations.
"Because trans-Atlantic relations are so important to this chancellor, it is right from her viewpoint to speak out honestly about differences," he said, stressing that the trans-Atlantic ties "are a firm pillar of our foreign and security policy".Her main challenger in September, the Social Democrats' candidate Martin Schulz, doubled down on Ms Merkel's Sunday comments, saying the summits made it clear that Mr Trump was a president "who wants to humiliate others, who presents himself like an authoritarian ruler".
"Europe is the answer, and stronger cooperation between the European countries at all levels is the answer to Donald Trump," Mr Schulz said.
"And above all else, we must not submit to Trump's arms-race logic."
While six of the seven G7 nations agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to slow global warming, Mr Trump said he needed more time to decide if the US would abandon the accord.
Mr Trump's administration has argued that US emissions standards are tougher than those set by China, India and others, and therefore have put American businesses at a disadvantage.
After the summit, Ms Merkel called the climate talks "very difficult, if not to say, very unsatisfactory".
Despite the Trump administration's talk of an "America first" policy and ongoing criticism of Germany for its massive trade surplus, the leaders who met in Sicily did vow to fight protectionism, reiterating "a commitment to keep our markets open".
They also agreed to step up pressure on North Korea, to forge closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, on the possibility of imposing more sanctions on Russia over role in the conflict in Ukraine.
Photo: Donald Trump refused to endorse the 2015 Paris Agreement at the G7 meeting. (AP: Andrew Medichini)Reuters/AP