Merkel offers cooperation with Trump based on ‘dignity of human beings’

Merkel offers cooperation with Trump based on 'dignity of human beings'

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a pointed congratulatory message to Donald Trump, reminding him of the values the United States and Germany share.

Merkel, who Trump criticized during the campaign for taking in 1.1 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing the Islamic State, said the two nations are tied by shared values.

“Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position,” she said. “On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation.”

How closely the the two nations cooperate will be scrutinized. Germany is a linchpin member of NATO and has steadfastly warned against Russian expansion into eastern Europe. Trump has made comments praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and questioning whether NATO has outlived its usefulness and is too expensive for the United States to continue.

Not everyone in the German government was as circumspect in response to Trump’s victory. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said “Trump is the trailblazer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. … They want a rollback to the bad old times in which women belonged by the stove or in bed, gays in jail and unions at best at the side table. And he who doesn’t keep his mouth shut gets publicly bashed.”