A German-American partnership for the future
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel met the President of the United States, Joe Biden, for talks at the White House in Washington. “Our two nations are not only allies and partners but also close friends”, the Federal Chancellor subsequently stated at a joint press conference. “We are united by common values and by the will to overcome the challenges of our time.”
Federal Chancellor Merkel said she very much appreciated the fact that common values and future projects had been set down in the Washington Declaration, which she and President Biden signed. Merkel and Biden also initiated a climate and energy partnership between the USA and Germany.
The Federal Chancellor pointed out that the partnership would “strengthen commitment to climate protection and intensify our cooperation on the strategies and sustainable technologies needed to accelerate the worldwide transition to ‘net zero’”. She added that both countries were committed to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and to taking decisive measures within this decade, and that we were living at “a very critical time when new challenges are constantly appearing that require us to translate our ideas into practical policies”. A German-American Future Forum would “address precisely these questions”, she said.
Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic
The talks at the White House also addressed how to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are convinced that we can only be successful if it is not just the people in our countries who are vaccinated – and we want as many people as possible to get vaccinated. Rather, we must support all the countries in the world by providing vaccines”, said Federal Chancellor Merkel. To this end, she explained, Germany and the USA were working together with Covax, and the two countries had agreed to donate vaccine doses to developing countries.
A lasting partnership
Other topics discussed at the meeting included the Baltic Sea Pipeline Nord Stream 2, the situation in Afghanistan, how to deal with Russia, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and the Iranian nuclear programme. On the nuclear agreement with Iran, Merkel said that everything should be done to reach a successful conclusion, commenting: “It’s in Iran’s hands.”
Merkel stressed the necessity of working together to strengthen democratic values, saying that the new formats had created the foundation for a continued close partnership.
US President Biden welcomed the Federal Chancellor to the Oval Office not just as a friend of the USA but also as a personal friend. Merkel said: “I greatly value our friendship; I am fully aware of what America has done for the history of a free and democratic Germany.”
You can see the joint press conference given by Federal Chancellor Merkel and US President Biden at the White House in this video.
In the evening, President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden organised a dinner in honour of the Federal Chancellor, also attended by her husband Prof. Joachim Sauer. Right at the start of her visit to Washington D.C., a meeting with Kamala Harris was on the agenda on Thursday morning: the Federal Chancellor and the first female Vice President of the USA met to exchange ideas at the latter’s residence.
Expression of solidarity between the two countries
While in the USA, Federal Chancellor Merkel also received an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. “Few names are so closely associated with fact-finding and the processing of figures and data concerning the COVID-19 pandemic as Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore”, she said in her acceptance speech. She added that the ability to trace the development of the pandemic was also the basis for international cooperation, without which it would be impossible to overcome such a global challenge as this pandemic.
“No two regions of the world are connected by such a depth and breadth of common interests and values as Europe and North America”, the Federal Chancellor stated. “And because that is the case, I view the great honour that you have conferred on me today as a particularly significant expression of the solidarity between our two countries.” She said she was sincerely grateful for this.
Since taking office, Federal Chancellor Merkel has travelled to the USA more than 20 times on various occasions. Eleven of those trips involved bilateral talks. On other trips, Federal Chancellor Merkel visited Harvard and attended the funeral of former President George Bush senior.