Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down what you need to know about the big stories from around the world.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Washington tomorrow a diminished figure — limping into her fourth term after six months of torturous coalition talks and touching down in the afterglow of Emmanuel Macron’s state visit.
Flashback: Days after Trump’s election in November 2016, Barack Obama flew to Germany and hailed Merkel — then TIME’s reigning Person of the Year — as “my closest international partner these last eight years.” Headlines declared that she had, however reluctantly, become the "leader of the free world."
Flash forward: Since losing ground in September’s election, Merkel has been in something of a strategic retreat internationally. A recent Der Speigel cover story bemoaned “Germany’s Incredibly Shrinking Role on the World Stage.”
Peter Foster, the Telegraph’s Europe editor (and my old boss) emails that if Merkel makes progress there, it will be a characteristic "triumph of substance over style."
The bigger picture: With perhaps 3 years left as chancellor, and more than a dozen behind her, don't expect Merkel to scour the world for opportunities to burnish her legacy.
“She sees her legacy as keeping Europe and the West together at a difficult time. That’s how she wants to go down in history.”— Erik Brattberg
Go deeper: Putting Merkel's longevity in perspective.
India's Sushma Swaraj was the only woman foreign minister at this week's Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting. India was also the only country represented by a woman defense minister. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images
Runner-up: First photos of Kim-Pompeo meeting.
Kim Jong-un will become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the 1950s when he crosses the military demarcation line between the Koreas at 8:30pm ET tonight (9:30am Friday local). Parts of the third-ever inter-Korean summit, with South Korea's Moon Jae-in, will be broadcast live.
How it’s playing in South Korean media:
Set the scene: The conversations Moon and Trump will juggle with Kim aren't just about nukes.
Go deeper: Who Kim is bringing with him.
A woman looks for clams on a beach in Eritrea. Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Eritrea is in dire need of economic development, but it has isolated itself from regional neighbors and the international community, and doesn't trust or accept any foreign aid, Axios' Erica Pandey writes:
Go deeper: Read Erica's full piece.
Rohingya refugees near the border with Bangladesh. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images
Gallup's World Poll asked people around the world whether they "think migrants living in their country, becoming their neighbors and marrying into their families are good things or bad things" and found the following results:
Trends: In the U.S., religious people and Trump supporters tend to be less accepting, and younger and more educated people more accepting. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe tends to be the least accepting region for migrants.
Trade disputes rarely escalate as quickly and intensely as the current U.S.–China spat, but recent statements from both countries suggest that tensions may now be falling, Dali L. Yang of the University of Chicago and Chicago Council on Global Affairs writes for Axios Expert Voices.
What's next: "Trump indicated on Tuesday that he would send Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to China next week. As both sides have softened their stances, the stage is set for the two sides to consider returning to the negotiating table."
Protesters Wednesday in Yerevan. Photo: Van Shlamov/AFP/Getty Images
Just three days after protests forced Serzh Sarksyan to resign as Armenia’s prime minister, the country’s parliament today said it will hold a special session next week to choose a new leader, per the Guardian.
"I tried to follow which kind of rationality he can respect. ... Your president made very strong statements to say this is an awful agreement, and so on and so on. We pushed. I tried to convince. I did my best."— Macron to reporters on the Iran deal. Read more highlights here.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday evening!