According to a government source German Chancellor is due to meet with US President Donald Trump for the first time on March 14, broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.
Separately, however, government spokesman Steffen Seibert, who is currently traveling with Merkel during a diplomatic visit in Tunisia added that “we are not denying” reports of the planned meeting.
War of words
The announcement of a meeting between the two leaders has been widely anticipated, particularly due to Trump’s previous comments regarding the European Union and Merkel’s refugee policy.
In a joint interview published in January with German tabloid newspaper “Bild” and British newspaper “The Times” Trump heavily criticized Chancellor Merkel’s open-door policy on refugees, saying she had “made one very catastrophic mistake.”
“That was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” Trump added.
In the same interview he said that the EU had become “a vehicle for Germany,” warning that, in light of the UK’s impending Brexit, other countries in the 28-member bloc would follow suit.
The US president then added the strange caveat that he had “great respect” for the chancellor, saying he would go into his presidency with an open mind about this “fantastic leader,” only to then suggest that his trust might not last long.
Merkel dismissed Trump’s comments, insisting that the EU can take care of itself. “We Europeans have our fate in our own hands,” she told reporters.
Ahead of his inauguration, however, the chancellor said she would approach the Trump administration with an open mind: “When he is in office, and at the moment that’s not the case, we will work with the new American government and see what kind of agreements we can reach.”
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