14:41 GMT +320 June 2018
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    Pope Francis welcomes Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, during a private audience in the pontiff's library, in the Vatican City

    Merkel Says Discussed With Pope Francis G20 Agenda, Paris Climate Deal

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    Angela Merkel and Pope Francis discussed the agenda of the upcoming G20 summit and a need to fight for international agreements.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Francis met in the Apostolic Palace, discussed the agenda of the upcoming G20 summit and a need to fight for international agreements, including the Paris Climate Agreement, the German government press service said.

    "We talked about our agenda of the G20 summit… We will focus on Africa, the continent neighboring Europe. The Pope welcomed it. He encouraged me to pursue this path, as well as to fight for international agreements, for example, the Paris accord. As we know, the United States, unfortunately, is withdrawing from the agreement," Merkel was quoted as saying by the press service on Saturday.

    The German chancellor pointed out that the meeting was rather encouraging.

    On June 1, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would be pulling out of the Paris climate accord, arguing that the agreement had the potential to hurt the US economy and affect national job growth while unfairly benefiting other nations. However, the president expressed his readiness to renegotiate the deal under terms that would be fair to the United States.

    The Paris climate accord, created within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and championed by former US President Barack Obama, has been signed by 195 parties and ratified by 148.

    The agreement aims at keeping the increase in average global temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each party to the deal has agreed to cut their emissions, and is expected to produce its own plan for achieving these goals, determine the time line for the implementation of said goals and then report on its progress.

    The G20 summit is set to take place in Hamburg on July 7-8.


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