Trump, Putin Call Amid European Anxiety

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Trump speaks by phone with Merkel in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump took calls with world leaders on Saturday, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with France, Japan and Australia’s heads of state.

Donald Trump discussed diplomatic relations and world threats, including Islamic terrorism and the hairy situation in North Korea and Ukraine.

The call with Russia’s President was the star of the show and it was closely watched both in Europe and in the United States, as the two leaders were discussing how to restore trade ties and stabilize bilateral relations, also about the threat of international Islamic terrorism and geopolitical issues (Ukraine mostly).

The call with Vladimir Putin comes in the aftermath of both leaders expressing their desires to improve relations after the series of  sanctions imposed on Russia during Barack Obama’s administration. There was no official mention from the Russians if Obama’s sanctions were discussed.

Japan’s leader Shinzo Abe also spoke to President Trump, focusing on America’s pull-out from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal widely supported by Japan. Donald Trump told Shinzo Abe that the US is more interested in bilateral trade deals, as they’re easier to negotiate on a case by case basis, also easier to manage and to modify if the situation so demands. Shinzo Abe will visit the White House next month.

Very interesting, with Merkel claiming earlier this month that she can’t trust Donald Trump and NATO for defending the EU while asking for the inception of EU’s own army, after today’s call with President Trump she said that they agreed on the fundamental importance of NATO, making an 180 just like in the old GDR’s Communist Party and agreeing that all NATO members must pay their fare share (the 2% of the GDP for defense). Trump accepted Merkel’s offer to participate in the G20 summit  later in July and he also invited her to the White House as soon as possible.

Finally, Trump had a discussion with French President Francoise Hollande who warned the US President about the political and economical consequences of protectionism.

Source: CNNWashington Times, Reuters

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst