Trump, Merkel to meet ahead of G20 talks

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PV International Desk : 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 also spoke by telephone on Monday, the White House said.

Trump and Merkel “addressed climate issues, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Financing Initiative and trade, including global steel overcapacity,” the White House said in a statement following their “extensive discussion.”

“The president said that he looks forward to helping Chancellor Merkel make the summit a success,” it said.

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.