Stage Set For Merkel’s White House Meeting With Biden; Perhaps Her Last As Chancellor
Stage is set for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in White House on Thursday in what is considered as her final trip to Washington before leaving power.
After 16 years in office, Germany’s iron lady prepares to step down following parliamentary elections in September.
During her multiple terms, Merkel has worked with four U.S. presidents.
Described as an Official Working Visit, the White House said it will “affirm the deep and enduring bilateral ties between the United States and Germany.”
Merkel starts the day with a breakfast hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris at her residence.
Biden and Merkel will meet one-on-one in the Oval Office at 2 PM. It will be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting. The leaders will discuss the full range of issues, including countering the threat of climate change, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing security and regional challenges, and shoring up democracy around the world, among other topics, according to the White House.
After the meeting, Biden and Merkel will address a joint press conference.
The President and the First Lady will host Merkel and her husband Prof. Joachim Sauer for dinner at the State Dining Room. The Vice President and the Second Gentleman also will attend the dinner, among others.
Merkel’s last White House bilateral gains significance in the context of improving U.S.-German relationship that was weakened during President Donald Trump’s aggressive approach towards her.
Biden is expected to raise his “long-standing concerns” over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which transports natural gas from Russia directly to Germany, reports say.
Merkel is also expected to press Biden to open US air travel routes to the European Union, which last month decided to allow Americans to travel to its 27 member nations.
Mrekel is the first European head of government to meet Biden in Washington since he took office.
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