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EU countries must fight for their future, says Angela Merkel after G7 summit

Angela Merkel has urged EU nations to fight for their own future in the face of emerging divisions with the US, Britain's decision to leave the bloc and other challenges.

The German chancellor spoke following t he G7 summit, in which leaders failed to agree unanimously on climate change after US president Donald Trump said he needed more time to decide whether to back a key climate accord.

She described the summit as a wake-up call, adding: "The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days."

Mrs Merkel said the EU nations had to "take our destiny into our own hands" although she emphasised the need to keep friendly relations with the US and Britain, while stressing the importance of being good neighbours wherever possible, including with Russia.

Six of the seven G7 nations agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement aimed at slowing global warming, but Mr Trump said he needed more time to decide if the US would abandon the accord.

His administration has argued that US emissions standards are tougher than those set by China, India and others, and therefore have put American businesses at a disadvantage.

Mrs Merkel called the climate talks "very difficult, if not to say, very unsatisfactory."

The G7 leaders meeting in Sicily vowed to fight protectionism, reiterating "a commitment to keep our markets open," despite the Trump administration's talk of an "America first" policy and continued criticism of Germany for its huge trade surplus.

They also agreed to step up pressure on North Korea, to forge closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and on the possibility of imposing more sanctions on Russia over its role in the conflict in Ukraine.

AP

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