Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:02AM
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a press conference in Berlin on April 26, 2017. (AFP photo)
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a press conference in Berlin on April 26, 2017. (AFP photo)

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has criticized the daughter of US President Donald Trump, Ivanka, for her role as an adviser in the White House, describing it as a form of "nepotism."

"For me there are things that remain strange, like for example the visit of his daughter to Germany which was treated almost like a world event, while the mix of politics with family and business reminds us instead of nepotism and would be unimaginable here," Gabriel said in an interview with the German regional media group Funke.

The top German diplomat was referring to Ivanka Trump’s visit to Berlin on Tuesday to take part in a women's empowerment panel at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She was heckled at the panel after defending her father, calling him a "tremendous champion" of supporting women and families.

"It always bothers me when members of a family, who have never been elected, show up suddenly as official state representatives and are treated almost as if they were members of a royal family," Gabriel said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and First Daughter and Adviser to the US president, Ivanka Trump, leave after a panel discussion at the W20 summit in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

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Commenting on the US president's first 100 days in office, Gabriel said the situation has "improved" but was "still not good."

Ivanka worked for her billionaire-father's company before Trump was elected president and is now an unpaid White House adviser. She has been accused in the US of benefiting from nepotism.

Trump has come under a furious backlash from political opponents and ethics experts for placing his children in positions of power.

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was also appointed as a senior White House adviser by the president.

There was widespread criticism of the White House last month when Ivanka, who at the time held no official government position, was seated next to Merkel during a meeting on workforce apprenticeship.