Donald Trump, Angela Merkel to meet ahead of G20 talks

Donald Trump, Trump

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel plan to meet Thursday for what are expected to be tricky talks on the eve of a Group of 20 summit in Hamburg.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the meeting would come before the summit, “most probably in the early evening of Thursday”.

The pair are also scheduled to talk by telephone today, Trump said in a tweet.

Transatlantic differences on climate change, trade, defence spending and refugees hang over the July 7-8 meeting of the world’s major industrialised and emerging economies.

Last week Merkel met with key European leaders and vowed to make a stand for climate protection and open markets at the meeting with Trump, who has said he will take the US out of the Paris climate deal and pursue a protectionist “America First” policy.

Merkel said that “the differences are obvious and it would be dishonest to try to cover that up. That I won’t do.”

She also said the US exit from the 2015 Paris climate pact had made Europe “more determined than ever” to make the accord a success.

Today, presenting her party’s election platform, she predicted “a whole series of thorny issues” at the G20.

“We know the positions of the US government and I do not expect them to disappear on a two-day trip to Hamburg,” the chancellor said.

She warned against high expectations, noting that the summit’s final communique has to be “approved unanimously”.

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