Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Snowstorm moves Merkel, Trump meeting to Friday

Angela Merkel has been studying Trump's speeches to get an insight into the new president's thinking Angela Merkel has been studying Trump's speeches to get an insight into the new president's thinking. Markus Schreiber
Juana Turner | 14 March, 2017, 00:26

Merkel's March 14 visit to the White House-the first meeting for Trump and the longtime German leader-is set to be closely scrutinized amid disagreements on a range of policy issues, from Russian Federation policy to refugees.

Nasty weather preparing to hit the Northeast is delaying German chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Washington, DC.

A month after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a message to Europe underscoring the importance of transatlantic ties, Tuesday's meeting will be scrutinized for clues on whether Trump fully endorses that message.

Trump's first encounter will be aimed at building a personal rapport with a European partner who was among former President Barack Obama's strongest allies and global confidantes, according to the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity despite the president's recent criticism of anonymous sources.

Merkel and Trump are expected to discuss a range of critical issues, including the future of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

With Trump advisors split over whether to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the German chancellor may have an opening to lobby the USA administration to maintain its support for the historic, 194-nation treaty. She has yet to meet the new American leader. "She is also convinced that direct contact with Trump is vital..."

Merkel's trip to Washington, D.C., has been delayed from Tuesday to Friday, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said in his daily news briefing Monday. Whether the situations in Ukraine and Syria are addressed or ignored after the meeting will be an important indicator of the administration's approach to both conflicts.

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