Angela Merkel

Merkel Condemns Escalation of Rhetoric on North Korea

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against “the escalation of rhetoric” in the wake of rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, adding that she didn’t see a military solution to the issue, The Hill reports.

Said Merkel: “I believe that, am firmly convinced that an escalation of rhetoric will not contribute to a solution of this conflict. I do not see a military solution to this conflict, rather I see continuous work, like we have seen in the U.N. Security Council with members with resolutions in view of North Korea, and above all very close cooperation with affected countries, especially the United States and China, but also South Korea, of course Japan.”

For members: Diplomacy Is the Only Option for North Korea

Merkel Laments Loss of Reliable Global Alliances

In the aftermath of a contentious Group of 7 meeting, where leaders failed to persuade President Trump to back the Paris climate accord, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that tried and tested global alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, citing her experience “in recent days,” the New York Times reports.

“Ms. Merkel, who is campaigning for a fourth term in the September elections, did not name the country or leader she had in mind.”

“It seemed clear, however, that she was referring mainly to the United States and Mr. Trump, who refused to commit to the goals of the 195-nation climate agreement hammered out in 2015. He has said it would be bad for the United States economy.”

Trump Gave Merkel an Invoice

President Trump handed German chancellor Angela Merkel a bill — thought to be for more than £300bn — for money her country “owed” NATO for defending it when they met last week, the Times of London reports.

The bill — handed over during private talks in Washington — was described as “outrageous” by one German minister.

Said the minister: “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations.”

Trump Ignores Merkel’s Handshake Request

President Trump, “who made headlines for shaking hands with Japan’s prime minister in front of reporters for a full 19 seconds, seemed to ignore German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she suggested that they exchange the same courtesy during her White House visit Friday,” Politico reports.

“In an exchange caught on video, photographers gathered around Trump and Merkel in the Oval Office early Friday afternoon and suggested that the two leaders shake hands for the camera.”

Axios has a series of “headline grabbing moments” from the Trump-Merkel press conference.

Merkel Tries to Size Up Trump

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been poring over old interviews and video of Donald Trump, seeking clues on how to influence the incoming U.S. president when they first meet,” Bloomberg reports.

“Merkel is trying to take the new president’s measure while gearing up her own campaign for a fourth term in Germany’s fall election, where she’s already using Trump as a foil. The chancellery in Berlin has reached out to Trump’s transition team to suggest an early meeting, which would give Merkel a chance to get Trump’s ear and counter his dismissive views on the European Union, NATO and free trade.”

Decision Time for Obama on Ukraine

Morning Line: “President Obama’s meeting today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington is fraught with all kinds of geopolitical consequences. The president has been reluctant to intervene militarily in the fighting between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist rebels. He thought sanctions that appeared to be weakening Russia’s economy would lead to a de-escalation of violence, but fighting has been taken to new heights in recent weeks in the Eastern part of the country and Obama is facing new pressure to arm Ukraine. Chancellor Merkel is opposed to arming the rebels, as she tries to broker a peace deal and tries to balance her economic relationship with Russia and Putin.”

Bloomberg: “Obama’s delay in making his move until after Merkel’s visit reflects not only the gravity of the situation and the dueling arguments, but his emphasis on international alliances, his own deliberative nature and the degree to which he’s concentrated power on foreign policy in the White House. … A U.S. official who is also close to the debate declined to predict what Obama will decide after meeting with Merkel.”

First Read: “What we can tell you is that the Obama White House favors it; indeed, this is the rare issue where Republican hawks and the White House are actually united. The dissenter is Merkel, and she is meeting with Obama today.”