- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2018

President Trump turned on the charm Friday for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, dishing out compliments and lauding their “great relationship.”

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel have been viewed as having a chilly relationship over the president’s demands for more military spending from NATO allies, as well as friction over the president’s tough stance on trade and the Iran nuclear deal.

Sitting with Ms. Merkel in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump congratulated her on her recent election victory and proclaimed that they have always had a “really great relationship”

“We actually have had a great relationship right from the beginning but some people did not understand that,” he said. “But we understand that and that’s what is important.”

He complimented Ms. Merkel for being “a pretty extraordinary woman.”

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel will be discussing some tough subjects.

Top goals for Ms. Merkel on her visit include talking Mr. Trump out of slapping tariffs on European Union goods and convincing him not to quit the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, which Germany helped negotiate.

Mr. Trump has given himself a May 12 deadline to decide the fate of the deal.

Ms. Merkel’s visit to the U.S. is her first foreign trip since her re-election and her assembling a new governing majority in Berlin.

“I thought it was important on this first visit outside of Europe to come to the United States, to come to Washington in order to yet again underline that we wish to deepen our relationship further,” Ms. Merkel said.

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