White House tree planted by Donald Trump, Macron Emmanuel vanishes

Mrs Merkel has hit a major setback in securing herself a fourth term

Mrs Merkel has hit a major setback in securing herself a fourth term

Presidents Trump and Macron were joined by their wives, Melania and Brigitte, last Monday when they strode across the South Lawn for a photo op of them planting the tree together. Merkel was queried about her declaration a year ago in a Munich beer tent that reliable partnerships forged after World War II were "to some extent over". She's much more constrained than I am.

But a Reuters photographer on Saturday took a shot of only a yellow patch of grass on the White House south lawn where the tree once stood.

The US suspended nuclear-related sanctions after the deal was agreed, but the president has regularly confirm the waiver.

The Kremlin said Putin and Macron were both calling for "strict observance" of the hard-fought 2015 agreement, which Trump has threatened to torpedo.

"She's a woman with a lot of character but tries to hide it", the French first lady told the publication.

"We've certainly made some (progress with the Europeans)", he said.

Merkel's team had prepared for a hard meeting. The tree is now being held at a "facility", the official said. Macron had hoped to convince Trump to stay in the deal, but said that after his conversations with the USA leader, it appeared likely Trump would withdraw from the Obama-era accord on May 12, when a decision is due on whether to extend a suspension of sanctions against Iran. Trump signaled openness to the idea, without endorsing it explicitly.

The trio expressed "concern" about the tariffs, and said they would continue to push for a permanent exemption for the EU.

"The threatened tariffs remain a major burden on transatlantic relations", added Kempf.

The US action would place a 25% tariff on steel products and 10% tax on imported aluminum.

US Customs imposes a quarantine period on any plant, seed or soil imported from overseas.

Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Merkel and Macron were "trying to make the best of what is intrinsically an unpleasant and risky situation". They even appeared to dress alike during the historic and highly choreographed visit.

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