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Merkel Blasts Trump for 'Withdrawal by Tweet' From G7 Statement

13 June 2018

Another image of the same gathering however suggests a more relaxed interaction, with Merkel smiling and Trump making eye contact.

Horst Seehofer abruptly called off a press conference scheduled to announce his new asylum policy as it emerged Mrs Merkel had blocked the plans.

United States President Donald Trump said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were waiting for a final draft of a joint statement by G-7 leaders when an iconic photograph was taken over the weekend showing the two leaders in what appeared to be a confrontation.

Merkel and fellow leaders are still struggling to adapt to an unpredictable US president who seems to delight in challenging allies on issues from security to exports while lauding traditional rivals and enemies in Russian Federation and North Korea.

Merkel has steadfastly refused to sanction the plan, insisting on finding a European solution to illegal migration that would require enhanced controls along the external border of the EU.

The use of the phrase raised eyebrows on social media for its echoes of the World War II alliance of fascist powers, as well as the deep divisions in Europe left by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 backed by a "coalition of the willing". She is also trying to persuade other European Union leaders to agree a common migrant policy at a summit this month.

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On his way to Singapore, the United States president tweeted: "Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!"

Merkel said she expected Italy's new coalition government to vote for the extension of European sanctions against Russian Federation.

"The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing as well", she told Germany's Anne Will talk show on Sunday evening.

Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also consistently either refused outright or resisted taking in refugees under a contested European Union quota system.

Trump, during the summit, insisted that Russian Federation should be a part of the group, leaving many to wonder why the US president is going out of his way to include Vladimir Putin in the group.

Seehofer, the former premier of conservative Bavaria state, has always been one of the fiercest critics of Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders at the height of Europe's migration crisis in 2015. "Other states will surely follow", he said in a statement.

Merkel Blasts Trump for 'Withdrawal by Tweet' From G7 Statement