Biden to host Germany’s Merkel at the White House in July

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President Biden will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House next month, his third in-person visit with a foreign leader in Washington since taking office at the beginning of this year.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Friday that Biden would meet with Merkel, who is in her final year as chancellor, on July 15 and that the visit “will affirm the deep bilateral ties between the United States and Germany.” 

“The leaders will discuss their commitment to close cooperation on a range of common challenges, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the threat of climate change, and promoting economic prosperity and international security based on our shared democratic values,” Psaki said.

The meeting is also likely to delve into more contentious issues, such as the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Germany. The Biden administration has criticized the pipeline but waived sanctions on the company heading the project earlier this year in what was widely interpreted as a move to avoid tensions with Germany, a U.S. ally.  

The White House announced Merkel’s planned visit as Biden prepared for meeting with other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders at a summit in Cornwall, U.K., during his first trip abroad as president. The G-7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting is the first time that Biden has met with most of the leaders in person, including Merkel.

Biden is using the trip to affirm U.S. support for alliances and European partners, like Germany, after four years of unconventional and often tumultuous foreign policy moves under former President Trump. The former president had a particularly strained relationship with Merkel. 

Merkel will be the first European ally to visit the White House. On separate occasions earlier this year, Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, but he has opted for virtual meetings with other leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. Biden is also expected to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House sometime this year.

Tags Donald Trump G-7 Germany Jen Psaki Joe Biden Merkel visit pipeline White House visit

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