Trump applauds Merkel's 'commitment' to boost North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the section for measuring brain waves at the new research center for dementia diseases DZNE at the university hospital in Bonn Germany Wednesday

"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel", he wrote at 9:15 a.m. in the first of two tweets.

He praised Germany's efforts in Afghanistan and its contributions to the fight against the Islamic State. And he referred to the United States as "a very powerful company", before quickly correcting that to "country".

During her trip to Washington, Merkel reiterated Germany's commitment to the 2% military spending goal.

In 2013 the German government said it had information that the United States may have monitored Ms Merkel's mobile phone, prompting her to call Obama to demand immediate clarification.

At their press conference Mrs Merkel managed to persuade Mr Trump to state his "strong support" for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "I didn't make opinion on it; that was statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox [News]".

And unavoidably with business comes the question of trade. The new USA president will come face-to-face with the veteran German leader whom he frequently maligned on the campaign trail, and whose free-trade, open-border politics stand in marked contrast to Trump's nationalistic rhetoric. "Mainly they talked past each other".

She said that in the automobile sector, for example, it was important to clarify whether data belonged to carmakers or software manufacturers because it was possible to develop new products with the data about clients.

And those "prior verbal tiffs" are not insignificant.

During her statement Ms Merkel quipped "it's much better to talk to one another, not talk about one another", referring perhaps to Mr Trump's statements about Ms Merkel previous year when he said "she blew it".

Those differences will also be evident in any discussion of trade, with Germans leading European opposition to a border-adjustment tax plan supported by U.S. House Republican leaders that would make imports to the U.S. more expensive.

"But this has to be done by looking at the refugees as well, giving them opportunities to shape their own lives and where they are", Merkel said on Friday. In reality, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has only a small logistical budget, which relies on funding by all member states. "On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close co-operation". "So I will not be drawn into a debate about who is more military-minded and who is less".

"What we know from the polls - as much as we can trust them nowadays - is that you have 80 to 90 percent of Germans saying they pretty much abhor what [Trump is] doing", Koch tells NPR.

Coincidentally, Merkel was the subject of USA surveillance, which was revealed during the Obama administration in leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Comments like that have prompted some of Trump's fiercest critics to declare Merkel the new "leader of the free world" - a moniker normally taken up by the occupant of the White House. After the world leaders met privately in the Oval Office, press photographers and videographers were allowed to enter and captured an awkward exchange.

Or as Merkel told Saarbruecker Zeitung: "It's always better to talk with each other than about each other". At least one more country, Romania, expects to meet the two percent mark in 2017.



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