Merkel faces 1st question time in German parliament

Germany car industry

GETTY Germany's car industry faces a crisis

Berlin, Jun 6 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today she expected "contentious discussions" at a G7 summit this week, given differences with US President Donald Trump on trade, climate and security.

Merkel responded that the Group of Seven leading powers, as it now is, is defined by having members who respect global law, and Russia's annexation of Crimea was a "flagrant breach" of that.

In addition to the disruptive effects of the rift in NATO and Trump's exit from the Paris global climate treaty, Merkel pointed to the fresh conflict over trade and the USA leader's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord last month.

Merkel will now face questions three times a year, though some opposition lawmakers say the format is too inflexible. "Therefore, the exclusion of Russian Federation from the "Big eight" is the right decision", - said the Chancellor.

German chancellors haven't previously interacted directly with lawmakers in the same way British prime ministers do at their weekly question time.

She said Germany will work at least to preserve what was agreed at last year's G7 and G20 summits on trade and climate.

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"Of course I will try to speak with the American president on the current problems we have, especially with regard to Iran and with regard to trade tariffs", she said.

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

Germany and Israel agree on the need to prevent a "nuclear-armed" Iran, but have different views on the way to achieve that end, said Merkel.

At Wednesday's one-hour session, questions and answers were kept to a maximum of a minute each, in a calm but concentrated atmosphere far removed from that often experienced in Westminster.

Merkel calmly replied that "in an exceptional humanitarian situation, Germany behaved very responsibly".

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