German Foreign Minister Condemns Trump's "America First" Policy


Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned Donald Trump's newly elucidated "America First" foreign policy on Thursday, expressing hope that, "the election campaign in the USA does not lack the perception of reality."

Steinmeier serves in the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Donald Trump has harshly criticized for allowing millions of refugees into Europe.

"I can only hope that the election campaign in the U.S. doesn't avoid recognizing the reality that the security architecture of the world has changed," Mr. Steinmeier said.

"The world's security architecture has changed and it is no longer based on two pillars alone," Steinmeier also said, referring to the Cold War at a news conference in Berlin in response to a question about Mr. Trump’s speech.

"America no longer has a clear understanding of it's foreign policy goals. Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we have lacked a coherent foreign policy," Trump said Wednesday in a major foreign policy address. "We've let our rivals and our challengers think they can get away with anything. And they do."

Steinmeier continued: "We need settings in the which the large countries are engaged but are also prepared to pull in others in their efforts to find solutions. No American president will be able to avoid this changed reality in the international security architecture. America First is no answer to that."

"On the one hand it states making America strong again. On the other hand it emphasizes withdrawal of America from the world. These two do not seem to fit together," he concluded.

Trump laid out his plan for an arrangement in which America's allies compensate the United States for maintaining world security, and in which the U.S. only acts in it's own national interest in a highly talked about speech on Wednesday.

Last month during a trip to the US, the German Foreign Minister took the opportunity to reject "politics of fear" and insist that "building walls is a very bad idea – no matter who pays for them" - a clear reference to Trump's plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

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