UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned Friday that the slogan of his US counterpart Donald Trump “America first” shook the world order and fueled insecurity in an unstable world.
“Today we are witnessing a growing destructive momentum in international politics,” Steinmeier said in his opening speech to the Munich Security Conference, the annual gathering that discusses global security challenges.
“Every year, we move further and further away from our goal of creating a more peaceful world through international cooperation,” he added.
He specifically mentioned the United States, Europe’s “closest partner”, for retreating from the multilateral scene at a time of heightened tensions between major military powers.
Referring to the slogans “To restore greatness to America” and “America first”, Steinmeier said the current US administration is issuing signals that every country must act only for its own interests, an approach that tends to benefit only the powerful.
He added, “As if everyone is going to be fine if everyone thinks of himself only. Restoration of greatness, even when it is imperative that this be at the expense of our neighbors and partners.”
Like other European countries, Germany has followed with increasing caution skepticism in decades of reliance on US protection and its commitment to a military alliance within the framework of NATO.
Trump has expressed doubts, in particular, about the alliance’s partner Germany, accusing Europe’s largest economy of not spending enough money on defense and US exploitation.
Steinmeier, whose position is largely honorary and serves as the moral compass for Germany, said Europe needs to strengthen its control of its security, including by increasing military spending.
He added that “only Europe can protect itself with credibility and is ready to do so will keep the United States within NATO.”
Steinmeier also considered that Russia’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine in 2014 to the European continent re-used military violence to achieve political gains, which led to a geopolitical “insecurity” and “a loss of confidence”.
With regard to China, whose influence is increasing, Steinmeier criticized Beijing’s position in the South China Sea, where it is accused of intimidating competitors and building military installations, and condemned its repression of the Uyghur Muslims.
“Its actions in the South China Sea are of concern to its neighbors in the region, and its actions against minorities on its soil are of concern to all of us,” he said.
Among the characters attending this year’s Munich conference, which runs until Sunday, are French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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