Germany's Merkel backs restraint with Italy's populist govt

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert More

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert More

In Germany's first-ever "Chancellor's Question Time", Angela Merkel fielded lawmakers' inquiries in the Bundestag on issues ranging from immigration to strained relations with Washington.

She noted that, in the meantime, the USA has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as imposing tariffs on allies' steel and aluminum imports.

The new format was put in place by the coalition that took office in March.

"A format that is explicitly based on respecting global law is not viable for Russian Federation at present", she said, adding that Germany maintains frequent diplomatic contact with the Kremlin.

Merkel told lawmakers on Wednesday that Germany will work to ensure that the summit's communique doesn't fall below what was agreed at last year's G-7 and Group of 20 summits.

Merkel said she will try to discuss problems such as Iran and tariffs with President Donald Trump.

"I'm in favor of talks with Russian Federation", she said, "But keeping in mind the differences we have".

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Lewis Hamilton remained the highest paid British sports star on the list in the 12th place, with earnings of $51m (£38.2m). The list is the annual one put together by Forbes magazine listing the world's top-paid athletes.

While it lacked the raucous free-for-all quality of the familiar British version of the tradition, Wednesday's session marked the first time the German chancellor has faced members of parliament for a direct interrogation.

Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday "we should talk with each other before we keep on talking about each other".

In a weekend newspaper interview, Merkel offered her most detailed response to French President Emmanuel Macron's ideas for reforming Europe, seeking to avert a damaging rift with Paris at a time of anxiety over Italy and growing transatlantic tensions.

Merkel, who appeared unimpressed by Netanyahu's remarks about a looming genocide by Iran against Israel, reiterated that Berlin remains committed to the terms of the Iran nuclear deal signed by China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States and Germany in 2015.

"When will you resign?" he asked.

"It's over", a smiling Merkel said as speaker Wolfgang Schaeuble ended the session.

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