EU foreign ministers, NATO backers refute Trump talk

The EU’s top diplomat has shrugged off US President-elect Donald Trump’s opinions on further breakaways from the bloc. Germany’s foreign minister says Trump’s criticism of Angela Merkel created a stir in Brussels.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tried in vain to head off press questions about comments by the man she called “almost-president” Donald Trump, noting that such discussions had not been “on the agenda” for Monday’s regularly scheduled ministerial meeting. But, as he summed up the talks afterward, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed that remarks Trump made over the weekend to British and German newspapers – disparaging the EU, NATO and Angela Merkel herself – had been all anyone talked about.

Mogherini said she hoped that the new administration would build a “partnership” with the EU and that she got signals of a willingness to do so in a conversation with US Vice President-elect Mike Pence. But she noted that the Obama administration will remain in power for a few more days and said she would not elaborate on “intentions expressed before they become policies.” She even suggested that the views expressed by the president-elect could change, saying “so many things are not yet clear, even to the incoming administration.”

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