Snow storm postpones Trump-Merkel talks until Friday

AFP , Tuesday 14 Mar 2017

President Donald Trump's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been postponed from Tuesday until Friday due to a major snow storm closing in on the US East Coast, the White House said.

"The president spoke to the Chancellor of Germany. They agreed due to the weather that the meeting should be postponed, rescheduled to March 17th," Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday.

"The president and the chancellor look forward to reaffirming their shared determination to stand together in confronting mutual challenges," the White House said in a later statement.

The Oval Office tete-a-tete, expected to be followed by a joint press conference, is highly anticipated, as the two leaders are far apart on a host of issues, from immigration to climate change.

In the run-up to the meeting, the White House has emphasized the strength of ties between the two nations, and said that Trump is hoping to learn from the chancellor's depth of experience.

The US president will also be "very interested in hearing her insights on what it's like to deal with the Russians" and Merkel's views on resolving the Ukraine conflict, said a senior administration official.

The reserved German leader has underlined that she is travelling to Washington not only as Germany's leader, but also as an envoy of the European Union.

"I will of course point out that for us, our country and our membership in the European Union are two sides of the same coin," Merkel said in Brussels ahead of the visit.

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