Trump to seek Merkel's advice in dealing with Putin and Ukraine conflict

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Trump to seek Merkel's advice in dealing with Putin and Ukraine conflict

President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have postponed their first meeting on Tuesday due to the forecast of a snowstorm expected to hit Washington.

She was scheduled to spend Tuesday meeting with President Donald Trump and holding a joint news conference. Is the German leader the new leader of the West?

The two were expected to discuss strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, collaborating to fight terrorism and taking steps to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, White House officials said Friday. The $65 billion U.S. trade deficit with Germany was "one of the most difficult" trade issues facing Mr Trump, he said, and bilateral discussions were needed to reduce it outside European Union restrictions.

According to aides and analysts, Trump's meeting with Merkel is the most important sit-down with a foreign leader since the Republican businessman took office in January.

The Washington meeting would also allow for "an exchange of bilateral and worldwide topics, and transatlantic ties, as we have always stressed, are very important", added Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer. "Merkel and Trump really are the polar opposite of each other on so many levels".

Angela Merkel is headed to Washington to meet with President Trump. 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 United States could help resolve the Ukraine conflict.

Trump had signaled he would consider a more open relationship with Russian Federation, but has yet to take action amid questions about his campaign's contact with Moscow.

White House officials said Trump's initial opinion of Putin is operative.

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