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Spokesperson: Germany's Merkel is a 'deeply convinced Atlanticist'

BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel is a deeply convinced Atlanticist who feels it is right to flag differences in Germany's ties with the United States in order to maintain healthy relations, her spokesman said on Monday.
Merkel shocked many in Washington and London by saying on Sunday that Europe must take its fate into its own hands, implying that the United States under President Donald Trump and Britain after its Brexit vote were no longer reliable partners.
"The chancellor's words stand on their own - they were clear and comprehensible," her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told a regular government news conference in Berlin on Monday, adding: "It was a deeply convinced trans-Atlanticist who spoke."
"Because trans-Atlantic relations are so important to this chancellor, it is right from her viewpoint to speak out honestly about differences," Seibert said.
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