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Angela Merkel reiterated that the EU would not follow the US down a protectionist road, arguing that the bloc should “move forward” with more free-trade agreements, after a European summit in Malta on Friday.

On the relationship between the EU and US, Ms Merkel called for greater cooperation in some areas, even as a transatlantic gulf emerges on policies such as trade and migration: “There will be areas where we are linked by common interests. International terrorism cannot be fought on our own. Then there will be tasks where we have to stand on our two feet.”

The German chancellor struck a less bombastic tone than European Council president Donald Tusk, who had launched an aggressive response to Mr Trump’s initial policies.

Instead, Ms Merkel said that the EU must work more closely together as bloc on area such as trade and diplomacy. “We also need to invest more in our defensive capabilities,” warned Ms Merkel, who also reiterated her commitment to Nato.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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