Trump's 'politics of fear' dangerous for U.S., world - German foreign minister


  • World
  • Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump appears onstage to introduce his wife Melania at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

BERLIN (Reuters) - Donald Trump, having clinched the Republican Party's nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election, threatens U.S. and world security with his "politics of fear and isolation," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday.

Steinmeier told Reuters in a written interview that he was concerned about what he called Trump's ambiguous vows to "make America strong again," while simultaneously reducing its engagement overseas.

"That is contradictory and it makes me concerned," Steinmeier said as he headed to Washington for meetings with other foreign and defence ministers to assess the U.S.-led effort to defeat the Islamic State extremist group.

"A politics of fear and isolation will bring less security, not more, and would be dangerous not only for the United States, but for Europe and the rest of the world as well."

Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, has blasted Trump for months for his "America First" speech, while praising Democrat Hillary Clinton as an experienced foreign policy expert.

Trump on Tuesday secured the party's 2016 nomination for the White House after vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of his party's establishment and already provoking controversy at the convention.

Steinmeier said the current crisis-charged world situation tempted people to look for easy answers. However the challenge was to find solutions that worked and did not rely on simple slogans or the erection of new barriers, he said.

The German politician was among the vocal critics of Trump's first major foreign policy address in April, in which he repeatedly promoted an "America First" agenda, rejected last year's nuclear deal with Iran, called for more investment in missile defence in Europe, and accused the Obama administration of tepid support for Israel.

Trump's comments during the campaign - including calls to ban Muslims from the United States - have raised alarm in allied countries unnerved by the phrase "America First", used in the 1930s by isolationists who sought to keep the United States out of World War Two.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by G Crosse)

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