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Trump, Merkel Confer On Conflicts In Afghanistan, Eastern Ukraine

U.S. President Donald Trump (right) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 17.

U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about issues of "mutual concern and interest," including the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Afghanistan, the White House says.

The two leaders "pledged close cooperation and coordination on these and other issues" and agreed to remain in close contact, the White House said on April 5.

Trump and Merkel met for the first time on March 17 at the White House, at which time Merkel said she would continue Germany's military participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

On many issues, including the refugee crisis and trade, however, Merkel has been at odds with Trump.

The U.S. leader in campaigning for office severely criticized Merkel's policy of admitting thousands of refugees and from Syria, Afghanistan, and other war-torn countries into Germany.

But since meeting with Merkel, Trump has not repeated his criticisms and instead has appeared to cultivate closer ties with the leader of Europe's biggest economy.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters