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Trump, Merkel to meet at NATO summit: White House

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By Agence France-Presse

US President Donald Trump will hold a one-on-one meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the NATO summit on Wednesday, the White House said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump who fiercely criticized the veteran German leader over her immigration policy which has sharply the German government. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump who fiercely criticized the veteran German leader over her immigration policy which has sharply the German government. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The encounter comes after Trump launched a furious attack on Germany at the start of the alliance gathering, bitterly criticizing Berlin for not spending enough on defense and accusing it of being “captive” to Russia for energy.

After Merkel, Trump will meet French President Emmanuel Macron. Both meetings are expected to be held behind closed doors.

Trump got the two-day NATO summit in Brussels off to a divisive start with his furious rant over breakfast with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He said Germany was “a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia”, taking aim at the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which he has previously criticized.

The US leader also demanded Germany step up its defense spending “immediately”, saying plans to increase budgets over the coming years are not enough.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defense, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism.

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