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Biden and Merkel to meet at the White House in July

Merkel’s meeting with Biden will come after the US president met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in April and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in May.

Biden – who is on a week-long tour of Western Europe, his first trip abroad as president – will also see Merkel on Friday for the opening of the G-7 summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts the annual meeting of leaders of the world’s most economically advanced countries in Cornwall, England.

Merkel, who has chaired the German government since 2005, is in her fourth and final term as chancellor, after announcing in 2018 that she would not stand for re-election this year. Her visit with Biden is expected to take place just three months before she steps down in October.

Merkel enjoyed a memorably warm relationship with former President Barack Obama, but US-German diplomacy strained under former President Donald Trump, who criticized Berlin’s trade surplus and the relatively low levels of military spending that fell short of the commitments made by NATO member states.

Trump has also often complained about US interest rates relative to Germany and other countries, and demanded that European countries detain Islamic State fighters imprisoned in Syria and from those Western countries. .

Last May, Merkel rejected Trump’s invitation to a proposed G-7 summit in Washington amid the coronavirus pandemic. And last June, Trump announced his intention to withdraw 12,000 U.S. military personnel from Germany – a withdrawal by Biden that was interrupted in February.

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