G-7 summit with Trump was a ‘sobering’ experience, Merkel says

Merkel-Trump G7 face-off photo headed for history books

Merkel-Trump G7 face-off photo headed for history books

A White House version (above, left) showed Trump with his arms crossed, smiling as everyone gathered around him.

The German chancellor bemoaned that "Sometimes it seems that the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses", apparently referring to Trump's barbs directed against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Shinzo Abe of Japan looks on with a world-weary expression. This year, quite a bit happened like US President Donald Trump asking for Russian Federation to be readmitted to the summit although Merkel was having none of it. Russian Federation was kicked out in 2014 because of its occupation of Crimea.

Other observers underlined a victory for Berlin's spin doctors.

A victor, however, is in the eye of the beholder.

His comment sparked a new diplomatic spat between Trudeau and the Trump administration and led Chancellor Merkel to criticize Trump's handling of the matter. "Sitting while the other stands is a classic strategy of gestural framing, to establish one's own authority and propagate it via pictures - it works on global media because it transcends language barriers", she wrote.

The photo was also posted on Twitter by Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, who stated that the U.S. president's posture sent a message to other G7 countries that the United States will no longer be their bank.

Another image of the same gathering however suggests a more relaxed interaction, with Merkel smiling and Trump making eye contact. Trump said the tariffs are necessary for national security.

So with the internet being the internet - memes, paintings, and captions are happening.

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Belgian Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the European Parliament's liberal group, chose the tagline: "Just tell us what Vladimir has on you". "Maybe we can help".

Soon, morphed versions of the photo started doing the rounds, a lot of them infantilising Trump. "Instead, we act then too", Merkel said in an unusually combative tone.

But the humour couldn't mask a deep sense of unease that the end of transatlantic partnership was nigh.

Several outlets, including German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle and Politico, translated parts of Merkel's remarks, which she made in a Sunday interview with German broadcaster ARD.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday called on European nations to stick together following Trump's announcement.

"Europe United is the answer to America First".

He said USA farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that USA trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms: "It's going to stop or we'll stop trading with them".

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