President Donald Trump hosted his most important meeting with a foreign leader so far in his young presidency, in what has been billed as a key test of the relations between Trump and the European Union.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she would be representing not only her country, but all of Europe at the meeting with Trump.
Shortly after her arrival at the White House, the pair appeared for a photo opportunity seated by the fireplace at the Oval Office.
Trump sat slouched over with his hands held together virtually the entire time, not uttering a word, a marked departure from his previous meetings with world leaders such as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe.
At one point, Trump was asked by one of the reporters “can we get a handshake?” referring to handshake between the two world leaders.
Mrs. Merkel looked toward the President appearing to expect him to turn toward her for a handshake. Instead, Trump gave a grin but kept his hands together, the same way they had remained for much of the appearance.
The appearance at the Oval Office was a short while before the two were due to appear in the East Room for a traditional joint press conference standing side by side at matching podiums giving initial remarks and answering questions from reporters from the two nations.
The two leaders differ on most issues — and significantly. One of the areas of focus was certainly their differing stances on trade, as Trump has routinely trashed U.S. trade deals and spoken of protectionist policies such as large taxes on imports.