ibusinesslines.com August 17, 2018

Merkel eyes talks with Trump on Iran, trade tariffs

09 June 2018, 11:46 | Erica Roy

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert More

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert More

The chancellor said she would go into the June 8-9 summit "with goodwill" and pledged to preserve the trade and climate conclusions agreed at last year's G7 and G20 summits, amid growing global tensions following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

She said that would "greatly strengthen the consistency and coherence of our foreign policy".

In addition to the disruptive effects of the rift in NATO and Trump's exit from the Paris global climate treaty, Merkel pointed to the fresh conflict over trade and the US leader's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord last month. AfD lawmaker Michael Espendiller asked whether the G-8 format including Russian Federation, which was thrown out after Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, should be revived.

But the prospect of more solidarity has raised concerns in Germany, where conservative lawmakers are particularly allergic to the idea of German taxpayers being asked to fund other European countries.

She said Germany will work at least to preserve what was agreed at last year's G7 and G20 summits on trade and climate.

"Dialogue is always important", she said during a question and answer session with German lawmakers.

While it lacked the raucous free-for-all quality of the familiar British version of the tradition, Wednesday's session marked the first time the German chancellor has faced members of parliament for a direct interrogation.

Merkel said she will try to discuss problems such as Iran and tariffs with President Donald Trump.

Merkel will now face questions thrice a 12 months, although some opposition lawmakers complain that the format is just too rigid and the occasion seems extremely unlikely to emulate the bear-pit environment of query time in London.

Other issues that the two sides see differently include the status of Jerusalem, said the German leader, who also said Berlin still favors a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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