Merkel from Germany calls for pragmatic approach from Northern Ireland | World news
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called for a “pragmatic solution” to disagreements over part of the Brexit deal that covers border issues with Northern Ireland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Britain will do “whatever it takes” to protect its territorial integrity in a trade dispute with the European Union, threatening to take emergency action if no solution is found found.
The EU must defend its common market, Merkel said, but on technical issues there might be a way forward in the dispute, she told a press conference at a summit of leaders of the Group of Seven.
“I have said that I am in favor of a pragmatic solution for contractual agreements, because a cordial relationship is of the utmost importance for Britain and the European Union,” she said.
Referring to a conversation she had with US President Joe Biden on geopolitical issues, Merkel said they were okay with Ukraine remaining a transit country for Russian natural gas once Moscow will have completed the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
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The $ 11 billion pipeline will bring gas directly to Germany, which Washington fears will undermine Ukraine and increase Russia’s influence in Europe.
Biden and Merkel are scheduled to meet in Washington on July 15, and the strain on bilateral ties caused by the project will be on the agenda.
The G7 on Saturday sought to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing countries an infrastructure plan that would rival President Xi Jinping’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative. [L5N2NU045]
Asked about the plan, Merkel said the G7 was not yet ready to specify how much funding could be made available.
“Our financing instruments are often not available as quickly as developing countries need them,” she said.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; writing by Vera Eckert; editing by Andrew Heavens and Helen Popper)
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