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Merkel makes first phone call to future President Trump

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Merkel makes first phone call to future President Trump
Photo: DPA.
17:15 CET+01:00
Chancellor Angela Merkel made her first contact with US president-elect Donald Trump in a phone call on Thursday, after issuing a reminder to the real estate mogul about their countries' shared values.

Merkel congratulated the Republican winner and said that she looked forward to welcoming him to Germany at the latest in July for the G20 summit in Hamburg, her spokesman Georg Streiter said on Friday.

The Chancellor once again stressed that Germany and the US are closely tied by common values and that she wanted to work with him off of this basis, as she had declared on Wednesday following the election results.
 
"Germany and America share the values of democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political belief," Merkel said in a public statement on Wednesday.
 
Streiter did not say who had initiated the call, nor how long it lasted. He also did not disclose what Trump said to the Chancellor.
 
It is still unclear when Merkel will visit Trump for the first time in Washington, after he is sworn into office in January. The German Foreign Ministry said they still expected his team to give answers soon about his future foreign policy approach.

Trump was often critical of Merkel throughout his campaign, targeting in particular her liberal refugee policies.

When the German leader was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year last year, Trump tweeted that Merkel was "ruining Germany".

Despite these tensions, Streiter said that on the German side, the government definitely wants to stay in contact with the future president's team.

If Trump does not come to Germany before the G20 summit and Merkel does not drop into Washington before then, the first time the two will meet will be at the G7 summit in Italy in May.

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier - who has been much more critical of Trump than Merkel - criticized how there was uncertainty about Trump's foreign policy and who he would pick as his cabinet and advisors.
 
While Steinmeier's spokesman Martin Schäfer said that patience was necessary, he also said that uncertainty fuels instability and that the Foreign Ministry expected Trump to give more answers soon.

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