Trump Congratulates Merkel

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Trump and Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump — Wikimedia Commons

US President Donald Trump congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, four days after her victory in the legislative elections.

Mr Trump has a difficult relationship with Mrs Merkel, who has been in power for 12 years and who has clearly expressed her differences of opinion with the occupant of the White House over the past few months.

The president congratulated the Chancellor for her re-election and “wished her good luck for the formation of her fourth government,” said the White House.

During the exchange, he highlighted the “deep ties” between Washington and Berlin and “the commitment of the United States to the strong and ancient alliance with the German government and the German people.”

The Iranian nuclear agreement, signed in 2015 between Tehran and six major powers — including the United States and Germany — and which Mr Trump could challenge, was among the topics discussed.

The two leaders also stressed the importance of achieving “a peaceful denuclearization of the North Korean peninsula”.

A week ago, the German Chancellor expressed her “clear disagreement” with the US President on this issue.

In front of the UN general assembly, the latter had threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. “I am against such threats,” Merkel said without hesitation.

The other subjects of divergence between the two leaders with very dissimilar paths and personalities are numerous.

The announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement on the climate was very badly received in Berlin.

And if US criticism of the German trade surplus is not new, Trump opted for a much more aggressive tone than his predecessors on this issue, threatening to impose customs duties in retaliation.

Asked about the absence of a faster telephone exchange after the victory of the leader of the first economic power in Europe, the White House had evoked at the beginning of the week “logistical” issues.