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‘I have German in my blood’: US President Trump on his plans to visit Merkel

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‘I have German in my blood’: US President Trump on his plans to visit Merkel
Angela Merkel and Donald Trump at the G7 Summit. Photo: DPA
15:25 CEST+02:00
US President Donald Trump showered Chancellor Angela Merkel with praise at the G7 Summit - and said he wants to visit Germany soon.

"She is a brilliant woman, and she understands exactly where everything is, she knows it before most people," said Trump, as he sat next to Merkel during the public part of a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Monday.

The comments came during a relaxed reunion between the pair. It's a stark contrast to previous meetings when relations have appeared frosty.

After Trump was asked about the G7 losing its only female leader, Merkel said in English: "I'm still here," prompting laughs from reporters.

Trump then predicted that the Chancellor, who plans to step down from politics after her term ends in 2021, may surprise everyone and might be around "for a long time".

When asked by a reporter if the Chancellor had invited Trump to Berlin, Merkel said she had done so "on previous occasions".

Trump then said he is planning to "maybe soon" go to Germany for a state visit, before adding that, in fact, he would "very soon" visit the country.

He said he feels "very honoured"  by the invitation he had received from Merkel.

"I have German in my blood," he added - at which point Merkel laughed.

Trump does indeed have ancestors who hail from Kallstadt, a small wine-growing town in the far western state of Rhineland-Palatinate. 

When asked if he would visit Germany as part of his upcoming visit to Poland, Trump said: "I haven't thought of that but it could happen," before adding: "It's a little soon."


Merkel later told reporters later that no specific date for the visit had been discussed.

Brief stopovers

Trump has not yet been on a bilateral visit to Germany since taking office in January 2017. By contrast, he has already visited France and the UK two times. He is also traveling to Poland for the second time next weekend.

READ ALSO: Why US President Trump is avoiding Germany - again

Until now, Trump only made brief stopovers in Hamburg for the G20 summit in July 2017, when he came from his first visit to Poland.

On his way back from Iraq in December, the President also made a brief visit to the US military base in Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate to meet with soldiers.

Compared to Trump's predecessors, his absence from Germany is unusual. Less than five months after his inauguration, Barack Obama travelled to Dresden to meet Merkel in June 2009, before the two travelled together to the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar.

 
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