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Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

Germany: Possible Syria meeting with France, Russia, Turkey

17 August, 16:11
(ANSA-AP) - FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin will have plenty to talk about when they meet Saturday - thanks in no small part to U.S. President Donald Trump. The two will meet at the German government's guest house outside Berlin and will give short statements beforehand but aren't planning a news conference, German officials have said. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert has said that topics will include the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, and energy questions. Putin is facing the possibility of more U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed by Trump, and has an interest in softening or heading off any European support for them. Meanwhile, while both countries want to move ahead with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline - roundly criticized by Trump as a form of Russian control over Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says officials are looking into the possibility of a four-way meeting on Syria involving Turkey, Russia, Germany and France. The idea of such a meeting has been raised by Turkey. Asked about the possibility Friday, Merkel stressed that there are already two main formats for talks on Syria, both working closely with U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura. But she added that "nevertheless, a meeting between Germany, France, Turkey and Russia could make sense - this must be well-prepared, so there is no date yet." She said leaders' advisers will do preparatory work to decide whether it's worth holding such a meeting. Syria is expected to be on the agenda when Merkel meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on Saturday. (ANSA).

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