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Trump, Merkel meet at NATO after he slams Germany

Kitco News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, hours after he fiercely criticized German policy on defense spending and gas imports from Russia.

The tone of their remarks when they jointly addressed reporters afterward appeared businesslike, after Trump had said Germany’s reliance on Russian energy left it “in the control” of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

“We’re having a great meeting. We’re discussing military expenditure ... talking about trade,” Trump told reporters who were allowed in to the meeting room.

“We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany,” he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russia to Germany.

Merkel said she had discussed migration and trade with Trump and looked forward to further exchanges as the United States remained a partner of Germany.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; editing by John Stonestreet

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