Trump Talks to Putin for 1st Time as President

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed issues ranging from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to Russian Federation to the situation in the Middle East during a 45-minute telephone call on Saturday, their first since the Republican's inauguration.

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande in 2013 at Paris.

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"Let's speak very frankly, there are challenges, there are the challenges the US administration poses to our trade rules, as well as to our ability to resolve conflicts around the world", Hollande said in Berlin.

In a phone call between the two leaders, Trump and Merkel also agreed to step up joint fight against terrorism and work together for stabilization in the crisis regions.

Merkel, without mentioning Trump by name, said: "We see that global conditions are changing dramatically and quickly".

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"We have to also deal with challenges posed by the new USA administration with regards to trade rules as well as our position to resolve conflicts around the world", the French leader said.

The series of calls follows a week of dramatic action from Trump's new administration, mostly initiated through executive orders that have sent signals both at home and overseas that the new president aims to amke dramatic changes to longstanding US policies.

She stressed that these challenges would be faced by a "common commitment to the European Union".

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On Friday, the USA president said during a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May that it was "very early" to consider lifting the sanctions.

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