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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden welcomed outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Thursday to go over differences over Russia and China as the 2 leaders look for to reinforce a relationship that suffered under former President Donald Trump.
The United States and Germany are crucial NATO allies. Biden and Merkel have actually understood and worked with each other for several years.
Their 2 federal governments are at odds over a host of tough issues, consisting of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being developed from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, which Washington fears will injure Ukraine and increase European dependence on Russian gas.
They also disagree over the wisdom of partnering with China on organization jobs, constraints on travel to the United States from Europe and Germanys opposition to temporary patent waivers targeted at speeding COVID-19 vaccine production.
Biden, 78, and Merkel, 66, agree on a string of broader issues, and both want to strengthen the transatlantic relationship that suffered under Trumps regular, withering criticism of close U.S. allies.
” The cooperation in between the United States and Germany is strong and we hope to continue that, and Im confident that we will,” Biden stated at the start of their conference in the Oval Office.
” I value the friendship,” Merkel stated, keeping in mind the U.S. role in developing a free and democratic Germany.
They will likely go over hazards to democracy all over the world, countering Russian cyberattacks and territorial aggressiveness in Eastern Europe and Chinas push to dominate sophisticated technologies, authorities in both federal governments stated. Ending the pandemic and curbing climate change are also on the program.
The 2 leaders do not have much time to work together on strengthening ties between the worlds biggest and fourth-largest economies.
Merkel, chancellor since 2005, prepares to leave Germanys federal government after nationwide elections in September, suggesting she is likely to be viewed as a “lame duck” in her final months in power.
Polling shows her Christian Democrats are poised to take the lead in forming a government after the election, however it stays unclear which celebrations would be consisted of in a coalition.
Bidens Democratic Party has rare bulks in the U.S. Congress that might evaporate in the 2022 congressional elections.
John Emerson, who functioned as ambassador to Germany under previous President Barack Obama, stated the relationship stays “vital” for Washington given Germanys role as the biggest economy in Europe and a NATO ally, in addition to its value as a bridge home builder in dealing with Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Germany hosts some 36,000 U.S. soldiers on its soil.
Merkel started her official day in Washington at a breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders said the 2 leaders went over geopolitical dangers and difficulties. They guaranteed to continue working together on the pandemic, global health and the environment, Sanders stated.
” We can undoubtedly comply extremely well in order to improve our shared values,” Merkel said.
Later on Merkel will attend an individually meeting with Biden, a news conference with the president and a dinner hosted by the Bidens at the White House. She is also receiving an honorary degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Merkels White House go to– the very first by a European leader considering that Biden took workplace in January– reveals the United States is attempting to make amends with an ally that was often assaulted throughout the Trump years.
” Inviting her to come is very important symbolically, however its likewise a chance to get the relationship back on the right track, and that is plainly happening,” Emerson said.
Germanys transatlantic organizer, Peter Beyer, stated Germans knew that there was just a restricted time available to progress, given the danger that Biden could be weakened after the 2022 congressional elections.
Merkel might encourage Biden on what to expect in the next German federal government, said Jackson Janes, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
” I think it will be a sense of stating: Thanks for the memories, and perhaps a bit more about what (Biden) should be considering as he handles the next administration in Berlin,” he stated of Merkels most likely message on her journey.
( Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Andreas Rinke and Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Editing by Peter Cooney, Alistair Bell and Cynthia Osterman).