NATO summit: Trump changes tone in Merkel meeting after earlier slamming Germany

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 11, 2018, 09.46 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump said he had a 'great meeting' with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a NATO summit on Wednesday (July 11), hours after he fiercely criticised German policy on defence spending and gas imports from Russia.

The tone of their remarks contrasted with an earlier breakfast between Trump and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, when the Republican president said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

Trump played up the success of the bilateral meeting and the potential to resolve issues, saying trade between their two countries would increase.

Merkel, speaking through an interpreter, said the meeting was an 'opportunity to have an exchange about economic ' and 'trade relations.'

Merkel said it was very important to have such exchanges like the meeting she and Trump were having because 'after all, we are partners. We are good partners, and we wish to continue to cooperate in the future.'