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Merkel in Argentina to talk Trump, trade and climate change

10 Juin 2017

Buenos Aires: German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Argentina on Thursday to discuss trade with President Mauricio Macri amid heavy security on a trip that will also take her to Mexico. Merkel has criticised the protectionist stance taken by the United States and called the decision of President Donald Trump of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord 'extremely regrettable'.

On this front, Germany has been cooperating with the Attorney General's Office (PGR) and victim associations, Merkel said as she started her less than a day's visit on Friday evening to the Latin American country, the second since 2008.

Merkel said such compromises would have to be carefully negotiated and would likely be painful for both sides.

Merkel said German agriculture had its own interests, but Germany supported Argentina's push to reach a trade deal with the European Union quickly.

Other EU leaders have expressed concerns the failure to win a majority may make negotiations even more hard.

Merkel also said she hoped for a speedy conclusion this year to talks between Mexico and the European Union to update a free trade accord. "And Germany is not always an easy partner", she told reporters.

"If there is a will to sign such an agreement ... then we must also make compromises".

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"Brazil is perfectly aligned with this idea, we share it with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay".

"In this sense I am very optimistic".

Argentina's economy shrank by 2.3% in 2016 but exited recession in the second quarter of this year, according to official data.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed concern about the situation in Qatar.

Germany is Mexico's biggest trading partner in Europe - overtaking Spain - and fifth overall with two-way trade between the exceeding U.S. $17.8 billion in 2016, while Mexico is Germany's largest trade partner in Latin America.

Last year, Germany ranked as Argentina's fourth-biggest trade partner after Brazil, China and the U.S. Merkel noted that her visit to Argentina comes after Macri helped Argentina end a legal dispute that returned it to global credit markets after almost 15 years.

"Argentina already tried isolationism and it didn't work", Macri said alongside the chancellor.