Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, has spoken out against US President Donald Trump's appointment of his daughter Ivanka as a White House adviser. His comments came following a visit by Ivanka to Berlin for a women's empowerment summit, the reaction to which he described as "strange".

Ivanka became a federal White House employee last month following criticism over a previous announcement that she would take on an unofficial position, moving into an office in the West Wing. However, in an unofficial capacity she would not be subject to the same code of conduct as other White House staff.

Speaking to German reporters, Gabriel was critical of Ivanka's appointment, stating: "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 was referring to Trump's appearance at the W20 conference in Berlin last week, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF Director Christine Lagarde attracted a great deal of media attention. The trip was her first international visit since her father's inauguration in January.

Gabriel added: "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."

At the event, Ivanka was booed when she spoke about her father's attitudes towards women, which were called into question last year after the leaking of an audio recording in which Trump appeared to condone sexual assault with his infamous "p****y-grabbing" comments. Of his attitude towards her, Ivanka said her father had: "encouraged me and enabled me to thrive".

In addition to her White House role, Trump is also a former model as was her mother Ivana, and an entrepreneur. Her fashion line came out of her jewellery range which is based on the "concept of a self-purchasing female". She left the brand in January 2017.

Sigmar Gabriel
Sigmar Gabriel was critical of what he perceived as 'nepotism' by President Trump Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters