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Trump, Merkel plan to meet Thursday ahead of G20: Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with US President Donald Trump at last month’s G7 summit in Sicily © POOL/AFP / PHILIPPE WOJAZER

Berlin, Germany, Jul 3 – US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel plan to meet in Hamburg on Thursday, the eve of a Group of 20 summit, Merkel’s spokesman said.

“Indeed a meeting with the US president is planned before the G20 summit, most probably in the early evening of Thursday,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a press briefing on Monday.

Transatlantic differences on climate change, trade, refugees and other issues are expected to flare at the July 7-8 meeting of world leaders from major industrialised and emerging economies in the northern port city.

Last week Merkel met with key European leaders and vowed to make a stand for climate protection and open markets at the meeting with Trump, who has said he will take the US out of the Paris climate deal and pursue a protectionist “America First” policy.

Merkel said last Thursday that “the differences are obvious and it would be dishonest to try to cover that up. That I won’t do.”

She also said the US exit from the 2015 Paris climate pact had made Europe “more determined than ever” to make the accord a success.

More than 20,000 police will be on duty in Hamburg for the meeting, whose participants include China’s President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

More than 30 anti-capitalist protests have been scheduled for before and during the meeting.

A day before the G20, Trump will head to Warsaw for a summit meeting of central and eastern European leaders likely to include Hungary’s hardline Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has sparred with western European leaders, especially on the refugee issue.

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