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Blizzard forces Trump, Merkel to postpone meeting

IANS  |  Washington/Berlin 

The first face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was postponed due to a major snowstorm on the US East Coast.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the planned Oval Office sit-down, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed until Friday.

For some, the blizzard that delayed Merkel's trip to Washington by three days might be seen as a bad omen. But in Germany, commentators said that the quick rescheduling on both sides was a promising signal, NBC News reported.

The fact that Merkel will now travel to the US on Friday shows "how important this trip also is for the White House", reported German broadcaster ZDF.

Merkel said she believes "one-on-one conversations are always much better than talking about each other", calling that the slogan for her visit.

Despite being criticised by Trump in recent months, Merkel will be arriving in the US with an open mind, senior German government officials in Berlin said.

Talks between Trump and Merkel, who last year was ranked by Forbes as the second most powerful person in the world after Russia's Vladimir Putin, comes amid disputes over NATO defence spending.

The President has also threatened to impose import penalties on German carmakers while the US administration's economic adviser has accused Germany of gaining unfair trade advantages through a weak euro.

The day's events were slated to include talks, a news conference, and a working lunch.

The same itinerary will take place on Friday, Spicer told media at the White House.

Meanwhile, a major snowstorm hit the northeast and mid-Atlantic portion of the US.

Snow began falling in New York City overnight Tuesday and continued piling up through the morning. Parts of New Jersey were also under a blizzard warning until midnight, reported CNN.

In Washington DC, streets turned slippery and slushy. At Reagan National Airport in DC, travellers got some bad news with nearly every flight on the board marked cancelled.

--IANS

soni/dg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 14 2017. 19:12 IST
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