Merkel urges 'pragmatic' approach to solve Northern Ireland issue

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jun 12, 2021, 10:55 PM(IST)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The EU has to defend its common market, Merkel said, but on technical questions there could be a way forward in the dispute, she told a news conference during a Group of Seven leaders' summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said that a "pragmatic solution" was required to sort out disagreements over part of the Brexit deal that covers border issue with Northern Ireland.

PM Boris Johnson has said that Britain will do "whatever it takes" to protect its territorial integrity in trade dispute with the European Union (EU).

The EU has to defend its common market, Merkel said, but on technical questions there could be a way forward in the dispute, she told a news conference during a Group of Seven leaders' summit.

"I have said that I favour a pragmatic solution for contractual agreements, because a cordial relationship is of utmost significance for Britain and the European Union," she said.

Merkel referred to conversation she had with Joe Biden and said that they agreed that Ukraine must continue to remain a transit country for Russian natural gas once Moscow completes Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

The $11 billion pipeline will carry gas to Germany directly, something Washington fears could undermine Ukraine and increase Russia's influence over Europe.

Biden and Merkel are due to meet on July 15. The meet will take place in Washington.

The G7 sought on Saturday to counter China's growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that would rival President Xi Jinping's multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative. [L5N2NU045]

Asked about the plan, Merkel said the G7 was not yet ready to specify how much financing could be made available.

"Our financing instruments often are not as quickly available as developing countries need them," she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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