The German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid the President of the United States of America a visit at the White House on 15th July 2021, drawing mixed reactions amongst think tanks on the European and American relationships.
Angela Merkel’s last visit as Chancellor
The meeting is possibly her last while in office before her anticipated departure from office after the German elections later in September.
Angela Merkel, who turns 67 on Saturday, has been at the helm of the European political landscape for over fifteen years overseeing landmark socio-political changes In Germany and Europe. Her departure casts a shadow of uncertainty in Europe since Germany is considered a pillar in the European economic blow.
Concerns over Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
The US government has expressed its concern over constructing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. President Biden said the fear that the project would give Russia substantial leverage over Europe. Chancellor Merkel, however, expressed Germany’s willingness to find practical measures that would ensure countries like Ukraine and other European allies are not coerced by being transit territories of the pipeline and beneficiaries of the gas.
The Chancellor’s meeting intends to discuss issues ranging from; Climate change, Current security challenges experienced in Afghanistan, the COVID-19 Pandemic, Eastern Europe, and strengthening the relationship between the two continents.
President Biden described her as a great friend of the United States of America and a personal friend, considering her a vital cog in the reinstatement of the relationship between the two countries. The two countries were reportedly experiencing strained relationships during the term of the former President, Donald Trump. Angela Merkel stated that she was also looking forward to strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
Chancellor Merkel held an early working breakfast meeting with the vice president of the United States, Khamala Harris, before joining President Biden to discuss a wide array of issues. They were also to discuss, signing a formal declaration regarding future cooperation on matters touching on global challenges.
Most of the policymakers led by the President of The Eurasia group Ian Bremmer term the visit as crucial for advancing the foreign policies of the United States in Europe on the back of what is viewed as an aggressive influence of China and Russia in the political affairs of Europe. Observers and political think tanks view Angela Merkel as reluctant to confront the two powers.