Obama praised Merkel’s decision to allow large numbers of Syrian refugees into Germany, declaring her to be on the “right side of history”.
Cansel Kiziltepe, another German parliamentarian of Turkish origin, said her Social Democratic party shared those concerns.
The meeting was originally set for Tuesday but was pushed back due to snow.
With 11 years of experience dealing with a wide variety of European leaders and with two different USA presidents, Merkel is likely to approach Trump with the same pragmatism backed by firm convictions that have made her Europe’s preeminent leader, says CSIS’s Ms. Conley.
Merkel, who has been chancellor since 2005, has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin more often than any other foreign leader, and USA officials believe she has more than held her own. But in 2015, she rolled out a welcome mat for a million asylum seekers.
“She’s used to awkward meetings. I don’t know what the hell she is thinking”, Trump told his supporters during a speech in Iowa last March, referring to New Year’s incidents in Cologne by recent migrants suspected of mass sexual assaults. “You don’t linger over the personal”.
Reflecting their connection, Obama and his wife called Merkel and her husband on the day before Trump’s inauguration to thank her for “her strong, courageous and steady leadership”.
“Of course she has been doing this for more than a decade”, the official said.
Whilst neither Merkel nor Trump initiated a handshake, it’s unclear whether they refused to do so, or even heard the suggestion.
Perhaps most disconcerting for Merkel and many Germans generally is the new United States president’s inward-focused nationalist populism that they see as a betrayal of the Western values-based system the USA has led since World War II. A Trump adviser recently accused Germany of depressing the euro to gain a trade advantage.
The German chancellor and the USA president will meet Friday in the White House.
The Chinese president noted that economic and trade cooperation are the key driving force of China-Germany relations and called on both countries to ensure that economic ties are mutually beneficial.
Between meetings the pair will hold a joint press conference that is sure to dredge up past barbed disagreements. Perhaps in the hopes of relating to a former businessman, Merkel will be joined by the CEOs of automaker BMW and industrial firm Siemens.
Trump’s own background may also help break the ice. The trip was initially scheduled for earlier in the week, but was delayed by a snowstorm that hit the East Coast.
All smiles aside, Mr. Trump railed against Germany and Mrs. Merkel, since he began his campaign. Their aides have met.
Issues like NATO, the EU, North Korea and Islamic State will mean there’s plenty to talk about aside from their differing stance on refugees.
The world’s most powerful man is about to meet one of its most influential women.
Another administration official said that the President hoped to get Merkel’s advice for dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, according to U.S. intelligence, ordered cyber-meddling in last year’s presidential election and tried to help Trump.
Trade is “a very big thing on the agenda for her”, said Fran Burwell, vice president at the Atlantic Council. “Of course, she’s been doing this for more than a decade”. -European sanctions against Moscow following its 2014 seizure of Crimea. Her first attempt on Monday was scrapped because of a snowstorm on the USA eastern seaboard. The news of its surplus came around the time that Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade adviser, accused the country of using the “grossly undervalued” euro to take advantage of the US and members of European Union.
Merkel will stress to Trump the importance of the European Union.
A majority of BMW vehicles produced in SC are also shipped to markets outside the U.S. BMW says it exports 70% of its U.S. production, and the Department of Commerce estimates the annual value of those exports at almost $10 billion.
Their sit-down could be a restart of a relationship complicated by Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail.