Trump Hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel At White House

Clay Curtis
April 29, 2018

He says he called it off. Trump says U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told him it could be done for a mere $150,000.

Macron made the European position on the Iran nuclear deal clear ahead of Merkel's visit.

Aware of the optics, anxious German diplomats pressed-in vain-for Merkel to enjoy a similarly meaty two days at the White House, betting the face time would help sweeten hard relations, officials told Agence France-Presse.

Supreme leader display seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran Thomson Reuters RIYADH (Reuters) - The United States is urging its European allies and others to impose sanctions on Iran to curb its missile program, calling it an global threat to peace and security.

"Nobody knows what I'm going to do on the 12th", Trump told reporters this week. "You can bank on it", Trump declared at a news conference with Merkel.

Trump has lashed out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, Germany in particular, for failing to increase their national defense budget to the threshold of 2 percent of their GDP, something they promised in 2014 to achieve in 10 years. While Germany is still likely to miss the goal of devoting 2 percent of its gross domestic product to defense that's expected of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, the move could be taken as a sign that Berlin has gotten the message. "The United States right now has a trade deficit with the European Union of 151 billion USA's been unfair", he said. He calls for "fair and reciprocal trade relationships with our friends and allies".

She signalled that the close relationship with the United States was changing.

Fox-watchers actually believe that Trump has done something other than ride President Obama's strong economy and low unemployment numbers.

In a joint press conference on Friday afternoon, it was apparent that despite the back-to-back visits, Mr Trump's divisions with Europe are still substantial. In essence, the European leaders handed Mr. Trump a road map for avoiding a string of potentially disastrous mistakes.

With that deadline mere weeks away, Macron has seemingly sought to find a middle ground with Trump.

Trump is widely expected to withdraw the US from the worldwide Iran agreement next month, despite pleas from Macron earlier in the week and Merkel on Friday.

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Trump credited his own leadership for why talks will "be different" in these negotiations.

Instead the two leaders had a 30-minute meeting followed by a working lunch.

If you haven't seen the video clips already, they're mandatory viewing, because words are not enough to convey the sheer touchy-feeliness of all that handshaking, hand-holding, hugging and faux cheek-kissing at the White House.

He is widely expected to withdraw the USA from the Iran nuclear accord next month, despite pleas from Mr Macron earlier this week and Ms Merkel on Friday.

Mr. Trump is due to decide by Tuesday whether to allow steep tariffs on steel and aluminum to be applied to the European Union, a misguided measure, driven by his incomprehension of basic economics, that could trigger a trade war with America's closest allies.

Deutsche Welle correspondent Michael Knigge added in a Friday opinion piece: "That Merkel and Trump pulled off such a cordial meeting despite their previous bruising encounters in person and via Twitter makes their brief get-together arguably even more significant than the state visit by Macron, who simply clicks better with Trump on a personal level".

First there was "Le Bromance" between US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron - fresh from jointly bombing Syria - with their astonishing public displays of affection in front of the world's media.

Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Merkel and Macron were "trying to make the best of what is intrinsically an unpleasant and risky situation".

There was no pomp and ceremony for the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

When Merkel last visited, Trump was criticised for not shaking her hand in the Oval Office.

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