Russia and the West remain divided over Syria. Russia believes rebels carried out chemical attacks last month to trigger military intervention. France is pushing for a UN resolution that includes the threat of force.
Vladimir Putin is meeting Merkel outside Berlin on Saturday to discuss Syria, Ukraine and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Angela Merkel. But what can the two seasoned leaders hope to say that they haven't said before?
Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron stressed the need for a "coordinated European solution" to migrant arrivals from the Mediterranean. They also voiced concern for the humanitarian situation in Syria.
Washington has cut funding pledged for stabilization projects in Syria. The Trump administration said increased contributions from coalition partners made the US payment unnecessary.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has received Russian President Vladimir Putin on his first bilateral visit to Germany since 2014. Their agenda listed Ukraine, Syria and piped gas for Europe but she dampened expectations.
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