One Simple Way To Improve International Diplomacy, According To Angela Merkel

Merkel and President Trump had a cordial press conference on Friday.

Global diplomacy can be a tense affair.

For leaders as different as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump, that reality can create some diplomatic issues. But during a joint press conference on Friday, the two leaders tried to turn over a new leaf.

Fielding questions on everything from Trump's erroneous claims about wiretapping to the different ways they view immigration, Merkel and Trump walked a cordial line, repeatedly espoused their commitment to working together, complimented the strengths of each other's nations and did their best to ease the obvious tension in the room. 

At one point, Chancellor Merkel offered some advice about how to facilitate a good relationship:

The simple idea is a lesson for world leaders everywhere: politicians are frequently baited into making comments about each other that can cause a lot of trouble. The best way to handle it? Talk directly to the person you're speaking about. Have a productive conversation.

Merkel and Trump's joint press conference came after a White House sit down earlier in the day, where it appeared President Trump resisted the urge to shake Merkel's hands for the camera. 

While Merkel and Trump have sparred from afar, both being critical of each other to the press, they touched on plenty of agreement at their meeting. Trump complimented Merkel and the German government on their apprenticeship program that offers training so people can join the industrial workforce.

Trump also acknowledged that more than 50 German soldiers had died during their service aiding Americans in Afghanistan, and commended Merkel's commitment to increasing its NATO defense spending to two percent of the nation's global domestic product.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / 360b

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