Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G7 summit

Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G7 summit, which the U.S. president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis…

Merkel’s refusal to accept Trump’s invitation is the latest in a long line of examples of the difficult relationship between the two leaders. Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany, and Merkel specifically, over issues ranging from Berlin’s trade surplus to its defense spending and commitment to NATO. Merkel has pointedly and publicly taken issue with the Trump administration’s unilateral approach to a range of foreign policy issues, from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal.

In a call between Trump and Merkel this week, the two leaders had heated disagreements on topics including NATO, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, and relations with China, according to a senior U.S. official, who declined to be named. Seibert, the German spokesman, did not respond to a question about whether the conversation was heated.