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Merkel seeks good ties with Trump, despite differences

FILE - In the March 17, 2017 photo U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s in Germany’s interest to have good relations with the United States, despite disagreeing with President Donald Trump on important issues.

Merkel told Germany’s Funke media group in an interview published Thursday that conversations with Trump during her visit to Washington and in subsequent phone calls had been “good.”

She added “this naturally doesn’t rule out that we have different opinions on some points, including on important questions.”

Merkel acknowledged that military action against the Islamic State group was necessary, but said only a political solution would bring about lasting peace in Syria and Iraq. She said an expansion of Germany’s contribution in the fight against extremists groups “isn’t up for debate.”

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