Biden To Host Merkel In WH On July 15

Washington: US President Joe Biden will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on July 15, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

“Chancellor Merkel’s visit will affirm the deep bilateral ties between the US and Germany,” Psaki said in a statement on Friday.

“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,” she added.

The announcement came as Biden is on his first foreign trip as President.

On Friday, he met Merkel at the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, England.

The relationship between the two allies was strained under the previous Donald Trump administration over burden-sharing and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Germany and Russia.

Calling Berlin’s “delinquency” on military spending, Trump had ordered to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany.

Biden reversed the pullout decision in February.

Last month, the Biden administration waived sanctions against a company and its CEO behind the pipeline project, citing the importance of relations with Germany and the difficulty to stop the nearly completed pipeline.

The 1,230-km Nord Stream 2 pipeline is designed to pump natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea and deliver 55 billion cubic metres annually.

Both Germany and Russia point out that the project is purely economic, while the US calls it a geopolitical manoeuver by Russia.

(IANS)