Merkel to address Congress next month

The newly reelected German Chancellor Angela Merkel will address both houses of Congress next month, a German government spokesman said on Monday.

Spokesman Thomas Steg said Merkel, who won a second four-year term during last month's elections, will address the joint session on Nov. 3 at the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"It's a rare honor for foreign guests of state to be able to speak before the Senate and the House of Representatives," Steg told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union prevailed in the Sept. 27 contests, receiving a slightly lower proportion of the votes than in the previous election, in 2005.

The last German leader to address a joint session of Congress, according to Steg, was Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1957. Adenauer, also a Christian Democrat, was West Germany's first post-war leader and backed the U.S. during the Cold War.

Merkel will also meet with President Barack Obama during her visit to the U.S. The two discussed financial regulation, Iran's nuclear ambitions and climate change in their last meeting, in June.

Steg said that the speech will mention the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, which eventually reunited the country and helped hasten the Cold War.

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