Monday, 25 September, 2017

Donald Trump, Angela Merkel put aside past differences; discuss terrorism, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Donald Trump, Angela Merkel put aside past differences; discuss terrorism, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Donald Trump, Angela Merkel put aside past differences; discuss terrorism, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Edmund Wade | 19 March, 2017, 00:35

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it was unacceptable for Turkey to use "Nazi" jibes to criticize Germany and other countries for banning rallies in support of President Tayyip Erdogan. But she also defended Germany's decision to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring out of the Middle East and Africa, a policy Trump at one point during the campaign suggested was "ruining Germany".

On Friday the two G7 leaders met for the first time in Washington.

Though Trump greeted her with a handshake at the White House on Friday, Trump seemingly ignored photographers' request to the two to shake hands.

"We are a very powerful country".

When a German reporter asked Trump if he regrets any of his commentary on Twitter, Trump said, "Very seldom".

Prior to his inauguration, Trump declared North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "obsolete" but has since modified his stance, telling European leaders the alliance remains of strategic importance.

Only the USA and four other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members - including the United Kingdom - now reach the alliance's benchmark of spending on defence which is 2% of GDP.

Besides the United States (at 3.36 per cent of GDP), only Britain (2.17 per cent), Poland (2.01 per cent), Estonia (2.18 per cent) and Greece (2.36 per cent) now reach the goal, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation estimates for 2016.

The two leaders discussed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding, trade agreements and the global situations in Ukraine and Syria. "We Europeans have our fate in our own hands", she said.

Merkel said Germany had committed to increasing its military spending to the previously agreed level of two per cent of GDP for NATO's European members.

"As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump replied, gesturing to Merkel.

"We held a conversation where we were trying to address also those areas where we disagree, but we tried to bring people together. tried to find a compromise that is good for both sides", she said.

The President insisted he had a "great" meeting with the German Chancellor in a tweet on Saturday morning.

He is making an open palm gesture either gesturing towards Mrs Merkel or the crowd, however it is a sign of openness and honesty as if to say "I mean you no harm".

"It's going to be a great policy for the United States, and worldwide", said Trump, adding that "many jobs are coming back to Michigan, Ohio, places where they were losing jobs".

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