In footage of the photo opportunity, as photographers call for the two to shake hands, Ms Merkel can be heard saying: “Do you want to have a handshake?”
Mr Trump briefly turns towards her, but continues sitting with his legs apart and hands together.
She then turns back to face the cameras, smiling thinly.
Despite the seemingly frosty nature of the joint appearance, both leaders described their meeting in brief remarks to reporters as having been very good.
The meeting is consequential for both sides.