WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Thursday for what is likely her last trip to Washington before she retires from office later this year.
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Chancellor Merkel back into the White House,” Biden said, as the two leaders sat down for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. “I consider her a personal friend as well a a great friend to the United States.”
A senior administration official said they planed to discuss the threat of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and security challenges such as Afghanistan, as well as cyberattacks and aggressive behavior by China and Russia.
Biden and Merkel are planning to release the Washington Declaration, said the official, who explained that it is a document that will “outline their common vision for cooperation to confront policy challenges.”
The U.S. and Germany are also working on developing other initiatives including a Futures Forum, which the official said “will bring together Germans and Americans from a wide range of sectors to be able to analyze and propose solutions to global problems going forward.”
After the bilateral meeting, Biden and Merkel will participate in a joint press conference in the White House East Room.
In the evening, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host Merkel and Professor Dr. Joachim Sauer for dinner in the State Dining Room. The schedule says that the dinner will be attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and others who have supported the U.S. relationship with Germany.
Merkel is expected to leave office this year, stepping down from a position she’s held since 2005, spanning four U.S. presidents.