US President hopes Trump won’t ‘simply take a Realpolitik approach.’
Author: Janosch Delcker
BERLIN — U.S. President Barack Obama met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, for a meeting that included talks about trade relations, climate change and relations with Russia, among other things.
Appearing together afterward, Merkel said Germany would continue to pursue negotiations over the EU-U.S. free trade agreement TTIP, despite President-elect Donald Trump’s previous rejections of the deal, adding that she hoped to “work closely with the new president.”
Obama, for his part, said he hoped Trump would get tough on Russia if the country was “deviating from our values and international norms,” while emphasizing the importance of free trade negotiations between the United States and Europe.
“My hope is that he does not simply take a Realpolitik approach,” Obama said during the joint press conference with Merkel.
The visit was part of Obama’s last trip to Europe as U.S. president before he is to hand over office to Trump in January. Ahead of the visit, Obama described Merkel as “probably … my closest international partner these last eight years.”
When asked Thursday if he would endorse another candidacy of Merkel’s in the upcoming German national elections in 2017, Obama said that “If I were here, if I were German and I had a vote, I’d support her,” adding: “I don’t know if that helps or hurts.”
On Friday, Merkel and Obama will be joined by British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President François Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.