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Home / World / Merkel visits Trump – will she also envy Macron's Bromance?

Merkel visits Trump – will she also envy Macron's Bromance?



  Donald Trump and Angela Merkel at a summit in Hamburg in July 2017

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Getty Images

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Hamburg, July 201
7: Mr. Trump and Mrs. Merkel have big political differences

It's hardly a match in the political sky.

Chancellor Angela Merkel never has much in common with Donald Trump.

A free-lance, peace-loving supporter of the Iranian nuclear deal will meet in Washington on Friday for talks with a warlike protectionist who described as "crazy" and "the worst of times" the agreement that restricted Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

When the US president was first elected, few in Berlin thought that the liberal, stable Chancellor, who is not known for extravagant performance, would enter into any kind of relationship with the impulsive, dramatic Donald Trump.

Post-Obama Difficulties

No one expected a close relationship, such as the warm bond that developed between Mrs. Merkel and Barack Obama (after they had overcome the embarrassing revelation that the Americans had heard their cell phone calls). ,

This relationship has brought political fruits to Mrs. Merkel – and her country. Germany's leader was the voice of Europe for America and the interlocutor between the US and Russia, partly due to President Vladimir Putin's reluctant respect for Ms. Merkel. Nonetheless, behind-the-scenes officials believe that Ms. Merkel's first visit to Washington in March 2017 was not the complete disaster they feared. Despite some tricky moments (the unforgettable handshake that never happened), Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Trump have a working relationship and are scheduled to speak on the phone regularly.

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Media signature Merkel's handshake offer falls on deaf ears

On her second visit, Mrs Merkel should – as the tabloid Bild has asked – be jealous This kiss between Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to the White House this week? Is the French President – the newspaper worn down between the lines – ready to replace Mrs Merkel as leader in Europe?

After all, Donald Trump has much in common with President Macron: they share a business background and both have a populist approach to politics.

Until recently, the paper said, Macron had avoided open criticism of the US president. Angela Merkel has clearly and repeatedly expressed her contempt for some of his policies.

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AFP

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There was plenty of tactile body language between President Trump and Macron

Berlin has undoubtedly followed Mr. Macron's visit closely. But in reality there is little concern about a race to become Trump's new friend in Europe.

Affected by Trump's apparent lack of interest in the EU, the French and German leaders were preparing for their respective visits to Washington together. Character and style are different, but the message is pretty much the same. Both the French and German delegations are so closely coordinated that, according to sources, this should be considered as a single, orchestrated European approach.

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And so the agenda for the visit of Mrs. Merkel is already fixed and reflects that of Emmanuel Macron. At the top, customs and trade. Mr Macron's visit did not induce Donald Trump to exempt the EU from its duties on metal imports. As of 1 May, Ms Merkel is under pressure from her EU counterparts to provide a permanent exemption.

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AFP

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Mr. Obama and Mrs. Merkel were satisfied with the nuclear deal with Iran; Mr. Trump is not

Then there is this other impending deadline. On May 12, Trump must decide whether he wants to repeal the sanctions against Iran, which would ultimately affect the nuclear agreement.

Mr. Macron has acknowledged that he has failed to convince the US President of the value of the business. Mrs. Merkel will prioritize the topic.

No one pretends it's easy. The Heads of State and Government will also discuss Nord Stream 2, Russia's controversial new pipeline that will bring natural gas through Ukraine and to Poland to Europe. Donald Trump is not a fan. Ms. Merkel, although she has recently begun to mute her support for the project, is concerned about the geopolitical impact.

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AFP

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Mr. Trump wants a bigger German contribution to the defense

And as if the leaders need more controversy, the topic of the German contributions to NATO is also put up for discussion. The commentators note that Mrs Merkel does not want to give in to Mr Trump's request for higher payments (and there was an obligation to increase German defense spending before his election). The Trump administration is not popular among German voters; Even if she could, only a few here want her leaders to make friends with Mr. Trump.

As Bild also noted, the paper could not resist a trill tone. Mr. Macron may have flattered the Trump ego, but he did not achieve much.

Angela Merkel is not one that attracts the charm in these situations. It will be pragmatic, but nobody in Berlin can expect miracles.


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