When Merkel met Trump

Angela Merkel may be used to dealing with | Sean Gallup  Getty Images

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it was unacceptable for Turkey to use "Nazi" jibes to criticize Germany and other countries for banning rallies in support of President Tayyip Erdogan.

During Friday's news conference, Trump also passed on an opportunity to apologize to Britain, whose leaders are seething over White House press secretary Sean Spicer's reference Thursday to unproven allegations that Britain's main surveillance agency spied on Trump at Obama's request.

It's not just refugees that have divided the two world leaders.

Mrs Merkel needs to walk a diplomatic tightrope, building a relationship with Mr Trump without appearing to sacrifice her own values or disappoint her supporters as she prepares for an election at home seeking a fourth term as chancellor.

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Near the start of the news conference, Trump pressed Merkel for Germany to meet NATO's military spending target, and Merkel reiterated her country's commitment to a two per cent military spending goal. And she argued that such an agreement would fit under Trump's rubric of negotiating only bilateral trade deals, reasoning that the European Union operates as one unified economic zone.

Mrs Merkel sought to break the ice, saying that it was "much better to talk to one another than about one another".

He made the statement in a series of tweets on Saturday morning.

It's not like Trump needs to know these things, though.

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Mr Trump said the U.S. would do "fantastically well" in its trade relations with Germany. Other reports indicate that USA intelligence had been listening in on her phone as along ago as 2002, when she was leader of the German opposition.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel said they also agreed on a broad range of issues, including working together to defeat the Islamic State and other radical Islamic terrorist groups and seeking a resolution to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Friday's summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel proved a grim reminder. Germany has always been one of those countries: Even with recent budget increases, it is still spending well less than 2 percent of gross domestic product on its military, the agreed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sum. "This is not a financial transaction, where North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries pay the U.S. to defend them".

Merkel maintained her composure even when Trump repeated his contention that former President Obama may have tapped his phones in Trump Tower.

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