WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Thursday for what's likely her last official visit to Washington, D.C. She’s not seeking another term in Germany’s Sept. 26 elections.
Earlier Thursday, Merkel had breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris. The chancellor conveyed a message that America has a friend and ally in Germany.
Biden hosted Merkel for an official working visit to “affirm the deep and enduring bilateral ties” between the U.S. and Germany.
"Today, we are launching a futures forum between our two countries," President Biden said.
He also announced that the U.S. and Germany would bring experts together that would stretch across businesses, academics, and several other sectors to collaborate and "shape our shared future."
During the joint press conference, Biden said the Washington Declaration, a joint document that lists the U.S. and Germany's shared vision for addressing policy challenges, would defend NATO from Russian aggression and tackle climate change.
Biden and Merkel discussed the coronavirus pandemic, the rise of China and a Russian gas pipeline Washington opposes. The pipeline takes natural gas from Russia to Germany.
Biden is expected to raise his concerns about the pipeline project with Merkel, but the White House isn't anticipating a formal announcement from their talks.
In the evening, the president, the first lady, the vice president, the second gentleman, and others will share a dinner with the chancellor.