Angela Merkel, Donald Trump to meet on Tuesday amid growing tension

Indirectly referring to Trump's isolationist economic leanings, she said "even if in parts of the world we see protectionist and nationalist approaches on the rise, Europe may never isolate, seal itself off or withdraw".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans a dual strategy for her meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday: to seek a good personal relationship while making it clear Berlin is armed for a trade war, Der Spiegel reported. She has yet to meet the new American leader. Merkel has been a leading critic of Trump's effort to ban travelers temporarily from seven Muslim-majority nations, a list that has since been pared back to six.

Many analysts say the meeting is Trump's most important with a foreign leader since taking office. He once said what she did in Germany with refugees was "insane". Trump has been flattering but also harshly critical of Merkel. But the official suggested that T-TIP could be considered as a two-party deal because of the European Union's structure.

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Trump has been vocal about his opinions about Merkel, whose support for accepting Syrian refugees had been called as "insane", and "ruining Germany" in a tweet by Trump.

The Washington meeting would also allow for "an exchange of bilateral and global topics, and transatlantic ties, as we have always stressed, are very important", added Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer. Apart from hearing Merkel's "insights into what it's like to deal with Russians", the official said Trump would also ask for advice on how U.S. could help resolve the Ukraine conflict.

Talks between German officials and the Trump administration suggest that there will be close cooperation between the two countries on policy toward Russian Federation, a senior German government official says.

  • Douglas Reid