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Germany to champion global order that's under attack, says Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel framed 2019 as a year for Europeans to defend the multilateral order that two world wars have shown is needed to avoid global conflicts.

[FRANKFURT] German Chancellor Angela Merkel framed 2019 as a year for Europeans to defend the multilateral order that two world wars have shown is needed to avoid global conflicts.

As she heads into the twilight of her political career after 13 years in office, Mrs Merkel used her New Year's message to hammer home a world view sharpened by US President Donald Trump's "America First" policies and the UK's looming exit from the European Union. European elections in May can help secure the EU as a pillar of peace and prosperity, she said.

It's in Germany's interest to tackle climate change, terrorism and promote orderly migration, and the best way to do so is by considering the interests of others, even if some have lost sight of that, Mrs Merkel will say in her speech to be broadcast on Monday.

"Certainties of international cooperation are coming under pressure," Mrs Merkel will say, according to emailed comments from the government. "We have to advocate, argue and fight for our convictions more strongly. And it is in our own interest to assume more responsibility."

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After a year that ended with Mrs Merkel preparing to exit from politics by 2021, she portrayed the challenge as a matter of war and peace, a choice between heeding the lessons of World War II or the risk of drifting into an era of greater conflicts. Politicians such as Trump as well as some European leaders have criticised international cooperation and are setting their countries on more nationalistic paths.

Closer to home, Germany is working to make the European Union more robust and better able to take decisions, Mrs Merkel will say. The country also wants to maintain a close partnership with the UK after Brexit, according to the chancellor.

Germany will seek global solutions as it joins the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member in 2019, according to Mrs Merkel. The country is raising its spending on humanitarian and development aid as well as defence, she will say.

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