- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel alluded Friday to President Trump’s accusations that she had “ruined” her country, but said they found plenty of areas of agreement in their first face-to-face meeting.

“I’ve always said it is best to talk to one another and not about one another,” Ms. Merkel said at a joint press conference at the White House.

Some of the common ground that the two leaders said they staked out included trade, business development, addressing the threats posed by Russia and the destruction by the Islamic State.

“Our alliance is a symbol of strength and cooperation to the world,” Mr. Trump said.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump frequently slammed Ms. Merkel’s open-door policy for refugees. He said the influx of Middle East and North African refugees was ruining Germany.

In sharp contrast to Ms. Merkel’s stance on refugees, Mr. Trump’s has attempted to temporarily slam the door on refugees and pause visits from some terrorist-threat countries. But those moves have been tied up in federal courts.

Ms. Merkel did not respond and later congratulated Mr. Trump on his election victory. German observers said Ms. Merkel was accustomed to insults for her dealings with European politicians.

However, the opposition party in Germany has denounced Mr. Trump as a hatemonger.

Ms. Merkel faces a tough re-election in six months against that opposition party, the Social Democrats, which has been gaining momentum.

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