Merkel meets Trump / Modi and Xi chat in China / Pompeo talks up Nato in Brussels

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Merkel meets Trump for talks on trade and the Iran nuclear deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is travelling to Washington today, hoping to avert a trade war between the European Union and the US and convince US President Donald Trump not to scrap the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump has said he is minded to rip up the 2015 Iran nuclear accord by reimposing sanctions on the country on 12 May and so far it seems Europe will not be exempt from US steel and aluminium tariffs due to kick in on 1 May.

Merkel will be in the US for a shorter meeting than the lavish state visit France’s Emmanuel Macron enjoyed this week.

Modi and Xi meet in China

Chinese President Xi Jinping will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today for a two-day meeting in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the clearest sign yet of thawing relations between the two estranged nuclear powers.

The pair are expected to discuss major bilateral and global issues.

Last year the two managed to avoid a serious diplomatic incident after Chinese troops swept into a disputed area along the Bhutan-China border near to where Indian troops were based and started building a road.

Modi is thought to be keen to avoid further clashes ahead of India’s elections next year.

India and China account for 2.6 billion of the world’s people and 17.6% of the global economy.

You can follow a live blog of the informal summit here.

Pompeo arrives in Brussels for talks with Nato allies on Russia

Newly sworn in US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Brussels for talks today with Nato allies on Russia and strengthening the military alliance.

It’s thought the meeting will discuss Russia’s role in Ukraine and Syria, as well as plans for increasing security along Europe’s southern frontier.

Pompeo is also expected to press other Nato members to increase their military budgets to meet a target of 2% of economic output on defence every year by 2024 — something US President Donald Trump has long called for.

Today’s meetings are being seen as a preview to the Nato leaders’ summit in July.