PM congratulates Angela Merkel on assuming office as German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Mr Varadkar was speaking following a meeting with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday. President Donald Trump came under fire in the US for congratulating Putin for his re-election this week, without raising issues such as USA election meddling or the poisoning.

In a letter to the German leader, the President in a statement by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina said he was "most delighted to learn of the successful conclusion of the inter-party negotiations to form a new government after the last election in Germany". She told parliament she hopes that, at the end of her fourth term, "divisions and polarization (will) have been reduced, perhaps even overcome".

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She said the conflict required a "political" solution as well as a humanitarian response and warned that the current offensives were exacerbating the already desperate situation for the civilian population there. "Ireland can rely on us", Merkel said.

Mrs Merkel described relations between Ireland and Germany as "excellent". She acknowledged, however, that some Germans find that hard to accept.

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Merkel, 63, outlined her new government's agenda and highlighted a polarized country facing a range of threats from trade to a stable currency.

That a sentence as "banal" as "wir schaffen das" - with which she defended her controversial open-doors policy to refugees in 2015 - should become such a focus of attention served to highlight the faultlines in Germany society, she said.

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