German Foreign Minister Throws Critical Jabs at U.S., Warns There Is 'Acute Danger of War' in 2018

"Predictability and reliability are currently goods in short supply in international politics," says Sigmar Gabriel on the second day of the Munich Security Conference

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel at the Security Conference in Munich, February 17, 2018
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel at the Security Conference in Munich, February 17, 2018Credit: Sven Hoppe/AP

Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned on Saturday that the Syrian conflict was moving in a direction that spelled "acute danger of war for our close partners," referencing fellow NATO member Turkey.

Gabriel also added that the world faces multiple security challenges and the threat of major conflict in different regions in 2018.

"Predictability and reliability are currently goods in short supply in international politics," Gabriel said on the second day of the Munich Security Conference.

Gabriel slammed the "America first" approach of United States President Donald Trump, saying that close U.S. ties with a strong European Union are as much in Washington's interest as they are in Europe's.

Gabriel told world leaders and defense officials at the Munich Security Conference that with the U.S. no longer the only indisputable superpower, it makes sense to count on traditional partners in Europe for help.

At the same time, he said, it is clear that European nations also need the U.S. if they want to "shape the future and not just endure."

"Our strength in Europe is not sufficient for this. Neither the EU nor the U.S. can do it alone. We have to count on our friends and our partners," he said, adding that no country in Europe has benefited as much from American help as Germany since World War II. "We eagerly learned" principles of democracy, multilateralism, international law and free trade from the relationship with the U.S.

"Maybe this can explain why we Germans in particular are so perturbed when we look across the Atlantic — because we no longer recognize our America," he said. "Is it deeds, is it words, is it tweets we should look at to measure America?"

He urged a return to greater joint cooperation, saying now is not the time for "just pursuing individual national interests," but suggested the U.S. was going in the opposite direction, drifting toward approaches taken from powers like China and Russia who are "constantly trying to test or undermine" the EU.

"It is one thing from possible rivals or competitors, but from our friends and partners we expect that they will respect the unity of the EU," he said. "No one should try to divide the EU, not Russia, not China, but also not the United States."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op