German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi take a walk in the garden prior to consultations at the Mesberg palace near Berlin, on May 27, 2017. AFP / John MACDOUGALL
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For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who often pulls her rhetorical punches, her weekend message signaling a shift in the post-war order was uncharacteristically blunt. But growing frustration with U.S. President Donald Trump, a determination to reform Europe with France's incoming leader and political considerations closer to home convinced Merkel to take a stand, senior German and European officials said.Speaking in a packed beer tent in Munich Sunday, after a Group of Seven summit in Sicily and a NATO meeting in Brussels – both dominated by tensions with Trump – Merkel spoke with surprising frankness.By making clear that Germany may have to distance itself from Trump, she is protecting her domestic flank and reframing the defense spending issue: no longer is it about fulfilling Trump's wishes, but about building a European defense capacity independent of the United States.Merkel hosts a G-20 summit in Hamburg in early July. Merkel would not have made her remarks before Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French election earlier this month, German officials said.German officials described the dynamic between the two at the G-7 summit as excellent.
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