President Biden will host Angela Merkel on the White House on Thursday in a working go to that may give him a chance to press the outgoing German chancellor on his geopolitical priorities whereas shoring up a diplomatic relationship that had frayed through the Trump period.
Ms. Merkel, who has labored with 4 U.S. presidents as chancellor, has a busy day deliberate in Washington, a diplomatic victory lap of kinds earlier than her time period expires later this yr.
She may have breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris, whom she has praised for serving as the primary feminine vp and “an example of the possibilities of America.” She will obtain an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. And then she and Mr. Biden, who’ve recognized one another since his time within the Senate, will meet earlier than internet hosting a information convention.
Aware of the necessity to rebuild ties with Ms. Merkel, Mr. Biden has taken pains to emphasize that the U.S.-German relationship has entered a extra steady period after she endured years of direct broadsides from his predecessor. (Donald J. Trump as soon as accused of her of being “captive to Russia.”)
Just as Ms. Merkel spent years responding mildly to Mr. Trump, she has not been overeager to just accept Mr. Biden’s entreaties. During a digital version of the Munich Security Conference held earlier this yr, she stated of the U.S. relationship that “our interests will not always converge.”
It was partially a reference to Mr. Biden’s curiosity in tamping down Beijing’s rising affect. Ms. Merkel has traditionally been receptive to working with China, Germany’s most vital buying and selling associate.
While the 2 will challenge a joint assertion pledging to work collectively on mutual areas of curiosity, Mr. Biden’s advisers stated Wednesday to not anticipate any main announcement over a protracted battle over the development of the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline to Russia. The mission has bedeviled Mr. Biden and his predecessors, who’re involved the Russians will use the pipeline as a coercive software towards Ukraine and different allies.
Earlier this yr, Mr. Biden waived congressional sanctions on the Russian firm constructing the pipeline and its German chief government, successfully conceding that an effort to halt the mission, which is anticipated to be full by the top of this yr, was not well worth the anticipated price to U.S.-German relations.
On Wednesday, an official who was not licensed to talk publicly informed reporters that the waivers had granted the United States “diplomatic space” to work with Germany to deal with the detrimental results of the pipeline.
“I don’t know whether the papers will be fully finalized, so to speak,” Ms. Merkel informed reporters in Berlin earlier this week. “I believe rather not. But these will be important talks for developing a common position.”