President Trump and Chancellor Merkel today held an extensive telephone conversation covering a range of issues, including NATO, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, relations with Russia, and the Ukraine crisis. Both leaders affirmed the importance of close German-American cooperation to our countries’ security and prosperity and expressed their desire to deepen already close German-American relations in the coming years. The President and Chancellor also agreed on the NATO Alliance’s fundamental importance to the broader transatlantic relationship and its role in ensuring the peace and stability of our North Atlantic community. In this vein, the leaders recognized that NATO must be capable of confronting 21st century threats and that our common defense requires appropriate investment in military capabilities to ensure all Allies are contributing their fair share to our collective security. The leaders agreed on the need to strengthen already robust cooperation in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and to work to stabilize conflict areas in the Middle East and North Africa. The President accepted the Chancellor’s invitation to attend the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July, and said he looked forward to receiving the Chancellor in Washington soon.