German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Pope Francis encouraged her to work to preserve the Paris climate accord despite the US withdrawal and shared her aim to "bring down walls," and not build them.
Merkel and Francis met for about 40 minutes Saturday in the Apostolic Palace, focusing on the Group of 20 summit that Germany is hosting in Hamburg on July 7-8. Merkel told reporters she briefed the pope on Germany's G-20 agenda, which she said "assumes that we are a world in which we want to work together multilaterally, a world in which we don't want to build walls but bring down walls."
Francis has consistently called for nations to build bridges not walls—including in reference to the border wall the Trump administration wants to build with Mexico. Merkel said Francis encouraged her to fight for international agreements, including the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aims to curb heat-trapping emissions.