Biden to Meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel

U.S. President Joe Biden meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Thursday in what will probably be her last official visit.
After 16 years as chancellor, Merkel plans to leave the government following national elections in September.
“This visit will affirm the deep and enduring bilateral ties between the United States and Germany,” the White House said Wednesday.
Biden and Merkel will discuss a variety of issues that include “countering the threat of climate change, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing security and regional challenges, and shoring up democracy around the world,” according to the White House.
 WATCH LIVE:  Biden – Merkel joint press conference The two leaders are also expected to discuss a Russian gas pipeline that Washington opposes. The Nord Stream 2 project transports natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The U.S. has argued that the project will put European energy security at risk by increasing Europe’s reliance on Russian gas and allowing the Kremlin to pressure vulnerable countries in Eastern and Central Europe.
Merkel’s spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, told reporters the leaders will also discuss China, which has strong trade relations with Germany. Some political observers say Merkel, who has criticized China’s human rights record, hopes to avoid having to choose between the U.S. and China.
Merkel’s agenda Thursday also includes dinner at the White House with President Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglass Emhoff.  
Merkel will also make remarks after receiving an honorary degree at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.