LONDON (Reuters) - The transatlantic partnership between the United States and European allies will continue no matter who is in the White House, Germany's finance minister said on Monday amid an uproar over critical remarks about NATO by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Running for another term as president in the November election, Trump suggested during a campaign rally on Saturday that he would not defend NATO allies that failed to spend adequately on defense and even That would encourage Russia to attack them.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said, "No matter who is in the White House, we have an interest in continued transatlantic cooperation on economic, political and security matters."
Speaking during a visit to London, Lindner said Britain and Germany face similar challenges when it comes to strengthening free trade capabilities.
"After Donald Trump's initial statements, this dialogue takes on special importance," Lindner said before heading into a meeting with his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt.
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“As European members of NATO, we face huge challenges,” Lindner said. He said that Russia's attack on Ukraine in 2022 puts the peace and free trade system of Europe in danger.
Lindner also noted that Brexit has made it more difficult for German companies to do business in Britain, referring to Britain's departure from the European Union in 2020, meaning closer interaction between the countries is vital.
"This intensive exchange and dialogue is necessary because, unfortunately, we can no longer see each other regularly within the framework of the EU," Lindner said.
(Reporting by Maria Martínez; Editing by Matthias Williams and Mark Heinrich)
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