What Happened During Angela Merkel's Visit to the White House

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at the White House Thursday for what is the outgoing leader's last official visit to Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered outside the White House Thursday to protest Merkel's block of COVID-19 patent waivers, which supporters say will greatly improve access to vaccines.

Activists laid down body bags in front of the White House, as well as signs asking Germany to "stop blocking global COVID vaccines." Merkel was also greeted by protestors chanting "free the vaccine" when she arrived at Johns Hopkins University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate during her Washington visit.

Speaking truth to power! @onthebuslaura of @NETWORKLobby urging #AngelaMerkel to please put human lives and an end to the COVID pandemic ahead of pharmaceutical industry profits. The world needs #Germany to drop its deadly block on the #TRIPSwaiver! pic.twitter.com/pzMxIBZxE0

— CTC (@citizenstrade) July 15, 2021

Merkel met with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other White House aides and government officials throughout the day to discuss issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The purpose of the visit is to "affirm the deep bilateral ties between the United States and Germany," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The first item on Merkel's visit schedule was breakfast with Harris at her residence, the Naval Observatory. Merkel was the first foreign leader hosted by Harris at her residence since moving in.

Following their meeting, Harris wrote on Twitter that they held a "wide-ranging discussion."

"We discussed strengthening democratic institutions and the transatlantic relationship, and addressing shared challenges like health and climate. @POTUS and I will work to deepen the U.S.-German partnership," she tweeted.

Biden and Merkel held a one-on-one in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon, followed by an expanded meeting with key staff and a joint press conference.

During the meeting, Biden and Merkel were expected to discuss the "full range of policy issues" in their bilateral relationship, a senior administration official said. This could include climate change, COVID-19 and increasing global vaccine access, health security and shared security challenges, such as Afghanistan and Libya.

Biden and Merkel were also expected to talk about regional issues, like Russian cyberattacks, China's growing influence, Ukraine's independence and human rights violations, according to the official.

One of the most highly anticipated items of discussion between Biden and Merkel was the ongoing dispute over the Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. The U.S. feels that the pipeline, which moves natural gas directly from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, provides Moscow with disproportionate power over the European energy sector.

Preceding the meeting, the senior administration official said that Biden will "raise his longstanding concerns" about the pipeline, but the White House isn't expecting any "formal announcement" or "deliverable coming" after the conversation.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the lead Republican for the House Foreign Affairs GOP, urged President Joe Biden to encourage German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "adopt a more clear-eyed policy" toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and "malign actions of the Chinese Communist Party."

The representative issued a statement ahead of Biden's meeting with Merkel, calling the pipeline a "Russian geopolitical weapon" that "must be stopped."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio also sent a letter to Biden urging him to press Merkel to stop the completion of the pipeline for Ukraine's sake. The senator said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's reliance on gas and oil transported through Ukraine curtails his ability to "bully" Ukraine.

Additionally, transit fees for gas paid to Ukraine allow it to bolster its military to protect against any foreign threats, Rubio said.

The senior administration official said that Merkel will join Biden for a small dinner Thursday evening, along with other individuals who have been "strong supporters" of the relationship between the U.S. and Germany.

Biden and Merkel are expected to release the Washington Declaration, outlining guiding principles for the ongoing bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Germany, after their White House meeting.

A senior administration official said that the declaration will "lay out the broad principles and values" that shape the relationship between the U.S. and Germany and act as one of the main concrete deliverables that come out of the visit.

The U.S. and Germany are also collaborating in the development of the Futures Forum, which will host a range of Germans and Americans to "analyze and propose solutions" for global issues, according to the official.

Merkel will attend a dinner Thursday evening with Biden and more than 20 others, including Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Oval Office Meeting
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and U.S. President Joe Biden make brief remarks to the press before a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on July 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

Hilary Clinton, Anthony Blinken Will Be Among Attendees at Dinner for Merkel

Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be among the attendees at a dinner for German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday evening.

The list, totaling more than 20 people, also includes U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and New Jersey Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy.

Biden and Merkel Commence Oval Office Meeting

President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel began their one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon.

In televised remarks from the Oval Office before the commencement of the meeting, both leaders spoke about how much they valued the relationship between the U.S. and Germany.

"One of the things I want to talk about is the enduring friendship the chancellor has been so responsible for nailing down and making sure it continues," Biden said.

Biden said that he and Merkel would speak alone for a while, and then bring in some key staff for an expanded meeting.

Merkel recognized their earlier meeting at the G7 Summit in June, and expressed that she was looking to talk more about their bilateral relationship and other topics, such as neighboring countries and geopolitical issues.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Arrives for Oval Office Meeting With Biden

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived at the White House to meet with President Joe Biden. Merkel will meet one-on-one with Biden in the Oval Office before an expanded bilateral meeting and joint press conference, a senior administration official said.

Vice President Kamala Harris met earlier in the day with Merkel, and the two had a "wide-ranging" discussion over a working breakfast, she wrote on Twitter.

"We discussed strengthening democratic institutions and the transatlantic relationship, and addressing shared challenges like health and climate. @POTUS and I will work to deepen the U.S.-German partnership," she tweeted.

I had a wide-ranging discussion with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. We discussed strengthening democratic institutions and the transatlantic relationship, and addressing shared challenges like health and climate. @POTUS and I will work to deepen the U.S.-German partnership. pic.twitter.com/Ur1bRQmjI1

— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 15, 2021

Sen. Marco Rubio Asks Biden to Object to Russian Pipeline During Meeting with Merkel

Florida Senator Marco Rubio asked President Joe Biden to object to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline during his Thursday meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Rubio sent a letter to the president ahead of the meeting, asserting that there was "broad bipartisan support for preventing the completion of yet another pipeline that bypasses Ukraine."

Rubio wrote that completion of the pipeline would endanger "democratic allies" of the U.S. in East and Central Europe. The senator said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's reliance on gas and oil transported through Ukraine curtails his ability to "bully" Ukraine.

Additionally, transit fees for gas paid to Ukraine allow it to bolster its military to protect against any foreign threats, Rubio said.

"Completion of Nord Stream 2 robs Ukraine of one of the few advantages it has over the Putin regime," Rubio wrote in the letter.

"I further call on you to press Chancellor Merkel to support Ukraine against Russia's aggression," he added.

Senator Rubio sent a letter to @POTUS, ahead of his meeting with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of #Germany, asking him to convey to her “that there is broad bipartisan support for preventing the completion of yet another pipeline that bypasses #Ukraine.” https://t.co/Fre809DX5M

— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) July 15, 2021

President Joe Biden Tweets Welcome for Angela Merkel

President Joe Biden tweeted from the official @POTUS account Thursday that he was looking forward to hosting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is expected to arrive soon for their White House meeting.

He called the partnership between the U.S. and Germany "ironclad" and asserted their joint commitment to working on "shared challenges" in the upcoming years.

I look forward to welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House this afternoon for a bilateral meeting. The partnership between our two nations is ironclad — and we’re committed to working together to tackle our shared challenges in the years ahead.

— President Biden (@POTUS) July 15, 2021

Biden and Merkel to Deliver Washington Declaration With Guiding Principles for Bilateral Relationship

President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to release the Washington Declaration, outlining guiding principles for the ongoing bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Germany, after meeting at the White House Thursday.

A senior administration official said that the declaration will "lay out the broad principles and values" that shape the relationship between the U.S. and Germany, as well as highlight their joint commitment to confronting "shared challenges."

The Washington Declaration will be one of the main concrete deliverables that come out of Merkel's final official visit to Washington, the official said.

The U.S. and Germany are also collaborating in the development of the Futures Forum, which will host a range of Germans and Americans to "analyze and propose solutions" for global issues, according to the official.

House Foreign Affairs Committee GOP Urge Biden to Address Pipeline, China with Merkel

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the lead Republican for the House Foreign Affairs GOP, urged President Joe Biden to encourage German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "adopt a more clear-eyed policy" toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and "malign actions of the Chinese Communist Party."

The representative issued a statement ahead of Biden's anticipated meeting with Merkel during her Thursday White House visit, calling the pipeline a "Russian geopolitical weapon" that "must be stopped."

"Above all, he must make clear the U.S. will immediately rescind the ill-conceived national interest waivers on critical Nord Stream 2 sanctions," McCaul said in the statement. "President Biden and Chancellor Merkel need to realize Berlin could never sufficiently mitigate the severe consequences to Ukraine and European energy security if the pipeline is operationalized."

LR @RepMcCaul on @POTUS's upcoming meeting today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House: pic.twitter.com/9KF94leMcR

— House Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) July 15, 2021

Johns Hopkins University Awards Angela Merkel Honorary Doctorate During Washington Visit

Johns Hopkins University awarded German Chancellor an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Thursday following a working breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris during her White House visit.

Lou Forster, chair of the Johns Hopkins University board of trustees, said that it was a "privilege" to award her the degree during the ceremony.

"The purpose of an honorary degree is to recognize and celebrate extraordinary human achievement in a manner that aligns with the values, commitments and aspirations of the Johns Hopkins University," Forster said. "Chancellor Merkel joins an illustrious group of political leaders of Germany, becoming the fourth since 1976 to receive this honor.

Merkel thanked the university for the honor and spoke on the differences in the world since her last visit to the U.S. in 2019.

"It means a great deal to me because this Doctor of Humane Letters, this honorary doctorate shows the friendship between our countries and the particular ties between myself and the Johns Hopkins University, as well," she said.