Trump insists he has 'very good' relations with Merkel

BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump insisted on Wednesday that he gets on well with Chancellor Angela Merkel, despite earlier savaging Germany’s trade and defence policies.

“We are having a great meeting, we are discussing military expenditure and we are talking about trade,” Trump told reporters as he met the German leader at a NATO summit in Brussels.

“We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany,” he said.

Trump had begun the day by attacking Merkel’s government, accusing Germany of becoming “captive” to Russian interests through overreliance on its gas exports.

Merkel visits Trump without illusions, but with hope

As the pair met alongside the main summit, Trump confirmed he had brought up the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

But Merkel nevertheless insisted Washington and Berlin remain allies, saying: “We are partners, we are good partners and wish to continue to cooperate in the future.

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to be here for this exchange of views,” she said, through a translator.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and US President Donald Trump (C) make a statement to the press, in Brussels, on July 11, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

“Indeed we have an opportunity to have an exchange of our economic developments on issues such as migration and also the future of our trade relations.”

Trump, who has long criticised Berlin for not spending enough on NATO’s mutual defence and for alleged unfair trade practices noted Germany’s “tremendous success.”

“And I believe that our trade will increase and lots of other things will increase, but we’ll see what happens,” he added, before reporters were ushered out of the room.

Trump berates European NATO members and Canada for lagging on a pledge to aim to spend two percent of GDP on defence

  • Trump says Putin may be easiest meeting of European trip

    Trump is set to meet Russian strongman in Helsinki

  • Trump scolds NATO members days ahead of summit

    Trump is harsh critic of NATO since 2016 presidential campaign

  • Trump lawyer blasts Russia probe as 'most corrupt' ever

    Trump, his advisers hammered at notion that several members of Mueller's team are affiliated with Democratic Party

    Original news :