White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the meeting will take place on March 14 in Washington, AP reported. She did not elaborate on the details of the agenda.
“Such a plan is in the works,” a German government source told AFP on Friday. In a separate remark, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that “we are not denying” reports of the planned meeting.
Both leaders are expected to meet in Germany at the July G20 summit, but this will be their first encounter after a rocky start to relations earlier this year amid mutual disagreements on trade, immigration, and Donald Trump’s bellicose comments about the mainstream media.
The tycoon-turned-president and Angela Merkel made a joint statement after a telephone conversation in late January, formally emphasizing the importance of NATO and the transatlantic bonds, and underscoring the two countries’ willingness to cooperate on combating terrorism.
However, days later Merkel lambasted Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. “The necessary and decisive fight against terrorism does not in any way justify a widespread suspicion against people of a certain faith, namely, Muslims, or people of a certain origin,” Merkel stated, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine.