German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Washington on March 14 to meet President Donald Trump, their first encounter after a rocky start to relations amid disagreements about trade, Trump’s travel ban and his comments about the media.
A U.S. official announced the visit, which comes shortly before a meeting in Germany of the finance ministers of the G20 industrialized countries and will help lay the groundwork for Trump’s visit to Germany in July for a meeting of G20 leaders.
The new Republican president and Merkel issued a joint statement after a telephone call in January, underscoring the importance of the NATO alliance and vowing to work together more closely to combat terrorism.
A few days later, Merkel sharply criticized Trump’s temporary travel ban on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries. She has also repeatedly underscored the importance of a free press when asked about Trump’s negative comments about the media.
Merkel had a warm relationship with Trump’s predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama.
The meeting between Trump and Merkel is likely to cover a wide range of issues, including the global economy, trade, the fight against Islamic State, NATO and ties with Russia and China.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Berlin; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Frances Kerry)