05:41 GMT +321 October 2019
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    US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose during a family photo at the Greek Theatee during a G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017.

    Merkel, Trump Seek to Improve Ties After Failed First Attempt to Hit It Off

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    US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the agenda of the forthcoming G20 summit in a phone conversation. According to political expert Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, Berlin and Washington are interested in the normalization of bilateral ties.

    In an interview with Radio Sputnik, the expert noted that such discussions are a normal procedure in the wake of a large-scale event. However, given the current conditions it is especially relevant, he added.

    "Preparations for the summit include the discussion of all key issues. At least those countries that intend to promote certain topics are involved. It is obvious that the relations between the US and Germany leave much to be desired. Both want to normalize their relations, but on their own terms," Ofitserov-Belsky said.

    According to the analyst, both parties have already made an attempt to find a common language, but failed. They subsequently tried to hide their failure by making statements in which they were assuring media that their relations are in fact very good.

    The expert also recalled the idea of a transatlantic free trade agreement, but noted that it would be almost impossible to implement it now. He also said that both countries consider relations with Russia and China complicated issues, which, according to them, requires additional and thorough discussion.

    "The summit in Hamburg is, in fact, a preparatory meeting, which is supposed to reveal some common ground in order to conduct more or less coordinated policy," the analyst noted.

    Although such meetings as the G20 summit are not supposed to be a place for making decisions, their importance as platforms for dialogue is great, the expert said.

    "Of course, countries do not make any decisions at international summits such as the G20 and many others. It is impossible, and summits are not organized for this purpose. It is rather an event that serves as a place for mass meetings of politicians with each other, when there is an opportunity to talk with the leaders of others states in a non-official format…a place where you can raise common issues and maybe somehow adjust the positions of other countries," Ofitserov-Belsky concluded.

    On Tuesday, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov confirmed that the first personal meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump has been agreed upon and will be held on July 7 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

    Moscow hopes that the United States will be ready for dialogue on the bilateral agenda and strategic stability, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated.


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