German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging European Union members to increase security and defense cooperation and has said that they should no longer rely on "eternal" U.S. support.
Her January 12 comments come amid uncertainty in Europe about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's commitment to transatlantic ties.
Merkel did not mention Trump by name but appeared to be referring to his comments from the campaign trail that he would consider a country's contributions to the NATO alliance before coming to its aid.
"I am convinced that Europe and the EU must learn to take more responsibility in the world in the future," Merkel said during a visit to Brussels to receive an honorary university doctorate.
Referring to both the United States and post-Brexit Britain, she said that “there is no eternal guarantee for a close cooperation with us Europeans" and that it would be "naive always to rely on others who would solve the problems in our neighborhood."
Merkel said Europe faces growing challenges within its own borders and in nearby regions, including migration, terrorism, the war in Syria, violence in eastern Ukraine, and poverty and famine in Africa.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP