All that was required was a simple handshake - a sign of cordial diplomacy between leaders of two of the biggest democracies in the world. Even in that respect, however, the leaders of the United States and Germany could not seem to come to an agreement. That's right: in a public relations snafu, Donald Trump and Angela Merkel did not shake hands on Friday.

Awkward and tense moment

A press gaggle was allowed to pay heed to the beginning of the momentous meeting between Trump and Merkel. Trying to line up a good shot for a story, one intrepid member of the press asked if they would shake hands.

The German chancellor made a comment about doing it, but the United States president sat stone-faced, refusing to play into the scene. This led to Merkel flashing an awkward smile, no doubt aware of the fact that she was just dissed.

The relationship between the two leaders didn't need to be this frosty in the moment. It wasn't even that frosty earlier in the day, when the German chancellor first pulled up to the White House doors. In that moment, Trump and Merkel shook hands. Trump must've simply had fatigue from the first time around when he silently refused to help himself to seconds later in the day.

Worsening relationship

Germany and the United States could not be more polar opposites at this point, in terms of the people who are in command. The most pressing example is the treatment of refugees by both countries. Trump has tried twice now to ban their infiltration into the United States through travel bans, while Merkel has accepted them into Germany with open arms.

A tide of populism has taken hold in the United States and many western European countries, putting Trump in charge of America and threatening to oust Merkel from her position of power in relatively little time. For now, however, the leaders must learn to work together despite their differences to promote prosperity and peace throughout the land. The demise of the countries' relationship would spell global trouble.