MUNICH, Germany, , (Pakistan Point News - 17th Feb, 2017 ) - Germany on Friday fired a salvo of warnings against Washington, cautioning it against hurting European cohesion, abandoning core Western values and seeking a rapprochement with Russia behind the backs of its allies. In a hard-hitting speech at the Munich Security Conference against President Donald Trump's administration, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen urged the United States not to take transatlantic ties for granted.
"Our American friends know well that your tone on Europe and NATO has a direct impact on the cohesion of our continent," the German minister told the Munich Security Conference. "A stable European Union is also in America's interest, as is a strong and unified NATO," she said. Trump's praise for Britain's decision to quit the EU, his criticism of NATO, and his softer approach towards Russia have rattled allies, prompting them to seek assurances from his lieutenants on whether long-standing American policies have indeed been scrapped.
In a bid to calm jittery partners, the White House has dispatched top generals to Europe this week. Vice President Mike Pence is due to address the Munich conference Saturday, a day after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis affirmed to the same forum that the bond between Europe and America is the "strongest bulwark" against instability and violence. "I am confident that we will strengthen our partnerships, confronting those who choose to attack innocent people or our democratic processes and freedoms," he told the gathering of security and defence experts.
Separately in Bonn where foreign ministers of G20 nations closed a two-day meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made short, brief statements in which he stuck close to conventional foreign policy, including on North Korea and Russia. With the White House embroiled in controversy over its ties to the Kremlin, Tillerson was cautious in his dealings with Moscow, despite Trump's pledges to take for closer ties. Following his first sitdown with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday, Tillerson said the US sought cooperation with Moscow only when doing so "will benefit the American people".