WHITE HOUSE – U.S. President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shook hands warmly after going through the occasionally awkward moments “becoming more acquainted with you” session Friday at the White House that appeared to symbolize the challenges ahead for the trans-Atlantic relationship.
Both parties, considered the two most effective leaders in the Western world, seemed to get off to a rough begin in their first up close and personal meeting. They eminently did not shake hands as they sat for photo shootings in the Oval Office after their opening discussion.
At a news meeting later, however, both leaders put forth more mollifying expressions after their two hours of talks,
“They were civil. It was workmanlike. They did not demonstrate any particular affinity, and one could sense there had been some significant differences of opinion in the meeting,” said Charles Kupchan, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Trump and Merkel Meet in Oval Office video
Trump did not criticize Merkel with his sharp criticisms of Merkel as he did during his presidential campaigns a year ago, when he said the German chancellor’s policy of inviting immigrants was “destroying” her nation and a lot of Europe. What’s more, Merkel was delicate in her remarks about the migration debates in the United States since Trump became the president.
The issues of “migration, immigration and integration clearly,” Merkel stated, including: “But this has to be done while looking at the refugees as well, giving them opportunities to shape their own lives where they are. … I think that’s the right way of going about it. And this obviously is what we have an exchange of perspectives about.”
Trump, who once broadly called NATO “deprecated,” reaffirmed his support for the collusion, and Merkel said she was “satisfied” by that. However Trump sees this from different angle since he believes the collusions are now not tolerating the burdens coming up to them.
NATO Collusions ‘Must Pay Fair Share,’ said Trump
Trump’s NATO support will be particularly welcome to European ears, as indicated by Jeffrey Rathke, representative executive of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “This is more than the president has ever said in regards to NATO since being chosen. So today was more than that, and that will help console our partners of the U.S. responsibility.”
“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense,” the U.S. president said. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”
Trump additionally attempted to explain that he will move the United States toward protectionism, as he has been depicted by numerous European media, yet he rehashed that he will look for better deals exchanging accomplices.
Trump Has No Independent Approach:
“I don’t have confidence in an independent approach,” the president said. “However, I also believe a policy of trade should be a fair policy. And the United States has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years, and that’s going to stop.”
Merkel looks for ‘compromise … useful for both’
Merkel struck a mollifying tone, without seeking for any German interest. “We tried to talk about areas where we disagree, and find a compromise,” she told reporters. “That is good for both, because we need to be fair.”
The German chancellor accentuated the requirement for exchange deals that will help both sides, however she was by all accounts emphasizing that any transaction with the United States will be with the whole 28-member European Union, not with individual member states.
“I believe it’s not out of the question, and that is the motivation behind finishing agreements: Both sides win,” Merkel said. “Also, that is the kind of soul in which we should be guided in negotiating any agreement between the United States and the EU. I trust we will return to the table and discuss the agreement between EU and the U.S. once more.”
Veteran eyewitnesses of U.S. trans-Atlantic relationships for the most part agreed that this first meeting of two different leaders and experienced arbitrators was a substantive begin.
“Toward the starting it was substantially more of, ‘It’s a decent meeting, we are cheerful we can cooperate,’ ” said John Hughes, a previous U.S. negotiator who is VP of the Albright Stonebridge Group. “In any case, in the meantime, it got to be distinctly apparent in some of Merkel’s reactions where she doesn’t see eye to eye with President Trump on everything, and she was going to be forceful in putting forth her defense on some of these issues, and not simply bowing down to his requests.”
Merkel told journalists that she and Trump had more discussions ahead on financial themes, yet she said she needed to “project” her view about how Germany accomplished its predominant part in Europe — that economy innovation has dependably been refined together with security and peace.
“The accomplishments of Germans have dependably been those where Germany’s gains are one side of the coin,” Merkel said, “and the opposite side of the coin has been European solidarity and the integration of the European members. That is something of which I am profoundly persuaded.”