Germany's Angela Merkel to visit Washington and meet Donald Trump on March 14

The meeting between Trump and Merkel is likely to cover a wide range of issues, including the global economy and trade.
The meeting between Trump and Merkel is likely to cover a wide range of issues, including the global economy and trade.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Washington on March 14 to meet President Donald Trump, their first encounter after a rocky start to relations amid disagreements about trade, Trump's travel ban and his comments about the media.

A United States official announced the visit, which comes shortly before a meeting in Germany of the finance ministers of the G20 industrialised countries and will help lay the groundwork for Trump's visit to Germany in July for a meeting of G20 leaders.

The new Republican president and Merkel issued a joint statement after a telephone call in January, underscoring the importance of the Nato alliance and vowing to work together more closely to combat terrorism.

A few days later, Merkel sharply criticised Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries. She has also repeatedly underscored the importance of a free press when asked about Trump's negative comments about the media.

Merkel had a warm relationship with Trump's predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama.

The meeting between Trump and Merkel is likely to cover a wide range of issues, including the global economy, trade, the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Nato and ties with Russia and China.