Merkel and Putin to discuss Afghanistan

MOSCOW: German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled to Russia Friday to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, the separatist conflict in Ukraine and Moscow’s treatment of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, among other issues.

Merkel’s visit to Moscow comes as she is nearing the end of her almost 16-year-long leadership of Germany. Despite sharp differences, she has maintained close contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for more than two decades.

“Even though we certainly have deep differences today, we speak to each other — and that should continue to happen,” Merkel said as she sat down for talks with Putin in the Kremlin.

She said Libya, Afghanistan, bilateral and trade relations and civil society issues would feature in Friday’s talks. – AP