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Trump, Merkel to discuss NATO, terrorism in upcoming meeting

Updated: 2017-03-13 09:44

Trump, Merkel to discuss NATO, terrorism in upcoming meeting

This combination of pictures created on March 10, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. [Photo/VCG]

WASHINGTON — After accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the campaign trail of "ruining Germany" by welcoming refugees, President Donald Trump will have his first face-to-face meeting with the German leader at the White House on Tuesday.

The two were expected to discuss strengthening the NATO alliance, collaborating to fight terrorism and taking steps to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, White House officials said Friday.

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

Merkel, however, will need to look past Trump's past comments, when he accused her of "ruining Germany" because of her acceptance of refugees. Trump often claimed that his Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, was running to be "America's Angela Merkel" and argued that Germany was in the midst of crisis.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not address past areas of friction on Friday, telling reporters there was "a lot of excitement on both sides of the ocean for this trip."

"The president looks forward to meeting with the chancellor and discussing areas of shared national interest," Spicer said.


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