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Trump, Merkel meet in Washington

US President Donald Trump has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, discussing a range of issues from the alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the crisis in Ukraine to the European policies regarding immigration and refugees.

According to Press TV, during a meeting in the capital on Friday, Trump threw his full support behind the NATO alliance, however, complained that some member states were not contributing enough and defaulted on paying their dues.

“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense,” Trump told a joint press conference after the meeting. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”

The US president thanked Merkel “for the German government’s commitment to increase defense spending and work toward contributing at least 2 percent of GDP” to the NATO alliance.

Trump and the German chancellor also agreed on the need for a “peaceful solution” to the conflict in Ukraine.

The US president expressed his appreciation for Merkel’s counsel and partnership in efforts “to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, where we ideally seek a peaceful solution.”

Merkel for his part said that, “There has to be a safe and secure solution for Ukraine, but relationship with Russia has to improve as well.”