Biden Will Press Merkel on China and Russia

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“Good friends tin  disagree,” President Biden said, appearing alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany astatine  a quality    league  astatine  the White House connected  Thursday.
Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Katie Rogers

  • July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Signaling that the U.S.-European confederation remained beardown aft the hostility of the Trump era, President Biden and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany connected Thursday stressed their shared values, adjacent arsenic some acknowledged differences connected a large Russian pipeline and however champion to attack China.

During meetings astatine the White House, Mr. Biden’s docket included respective of his astir pressing geopolitical priorities, specified arsenic restraining Chinese influence, curbing Russian aggression and waiving intelligence spot restrictions connected coronavirus vaccine manufacturers.

While determination were nary evident breakthroughs, the sojourn was a mode to amusement a unified beforehand aft President Donald J. Trump’s hostile exchanges with Ms. Merkel implicit NATO contributions, commercialized and multilateralism severely frayed relations. The gathering besides comes earlier the chancellor’s word ends and a caller German authorities volition beryllium sworn successful aft elections connected Sept. 26.

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Biden and Merkel Work to Strengthen Ties

President Biden welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to the White House for a last clip arsenic the 2 leaders sought to show a beardown bilateral narration pursuing the Trump presidency.

“Chancellor Merkel has been present often implicit the past 16 years — arsenic a substance of fact, she knows the Oval Office arsenic good arsenic I do. But each kidding aside, done this administration, she’s been determination for 4 years — for 4 presidents. But I privation to instrumentality a infinitesimal to admit the historical quality of her chancellorship. First pistillate chancellor successful German history. The archetypal chancellor from the erstwhile East Germany. And present the 2nd largest — longest serving chancellor since Helmut Kohl. Years of exemplary beingness of groundbreaking work to Germany, and I mightiness adhd — and I mean it from the bottommost of the bosom — to the world. On behalf of the United States, convey you, Angela, for your vocation of strong, principled leadership, and convey you for speaking retired for what is right. Today, we’re launching a Futures Forum betwixt our 2 countries, which volition bring unneurotic apical experts crossed business, academia, civilian nine and much to collaborate arsenic we signifier our shared future. Madam Chancellor, I cognize that the concern betwixt Germany and the United States volition proceed to turn stronger connected the instauration that you’ve helped to build. But connected a idiosyncratic note, I indispensable archer you, I’ll miss seeing you astatine our summits. I genuinely will. So convey you again, Angela, for making the travel for our productive gathering contiguous and for your friendship.”

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President Biden welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to the White House for a last clip arsenic the 2 leaders sought to show a beardown bilateral narration pursuing the Trump presidency.CreditCredit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

“Good friends tin disagree,” said Mr. Biden, who appeared alongside Ms. Merkel astatine a quality league successful the East Room aft the meeting.

For the astir part, the travel appeared to beryllium a triumph of the idiosyncratic implicit policy. Mr. Biden joked that Ms. Merkel, who has worked with 4 U.S. presidents, “knows the Oval Office arsenic good arsenic I do.” The chancellor referred to the president arsenic “dear Joe” respective times arsenic she extolled their affable relationship, which has endured since his clip successful the Senate. But the warmth could not cloak the information that neither person had shifted from their astir substantive areas of disagreement.

Mr. Biden said helium broached the contentious contented of the $11 cardinal Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a earthy state conduit being built betwixt Germany and Russia that is expected to beryllium completed by the extremity of the year. The president and his predecessors person assailed the task arsenic small much than a coercive instrumentality against Ukraine and different allies.

“We’ve travel to antithetic assessments,” Ms. Merkel said of the project.

Mr. Biden said the 2 had agreed that they were “united successful our condemnation that Russia should not beryllium capable to usage vigor arsenic a weapon.”

The president waived legislature sanctions this twelvemonth connected the Russian institution gathering the pipeline and its German main executive, efficaciously conceding that an effort to halt the task was not worthy the expected outgo to U.S.-German relations.

Ms. Merkel kept her comments nonspecific connected countering China, whose power Mr. Biden believes poses an existential menace to American democracy.

“There is simply a batch of communal knowing that China successful galore areas is our competitor,” the chancellor said, cautious not to tally afoul of Germany’s largest trading partner. She added that “trade with China needs to remainder connected the presumption that we person a level playing field.”

The 2 leaders besides signaled that they remained isolated connected their attack to containing the pandemic. Ms. Merkel did not perpetrate to the lifting of patents for coronavirus vaccines, and Mr. Biden did not rise the contented successful beforehand of reporters. Ms. Merkel said she had asked the president if his medication would extremity a question prohibition against Europeans, but helium did not perpetrate to ending it.

“I did rise the issue,” the chancellor said, “and got the aforesaid reply that the president gave you: The Covid squad is evaluating the matter.”

Still, the leaders repeatedly emphasized their one-on-one narration successful their nationalist appearances, a crisp divergence from Ms. Merkel’s chilly and stilted interactions with Mr. Trump, who maligned her arsenic “captive to Russia.” When asked to comparison Mr. Biden’s enactment benignant with his predecessor’s, the chancellor was characteristically restrained, emphasizing that she and Mr. Biden had a “very affable exchange.”

“We are not lone partners and allies,” Ms. Merkel said, “but we are precise adjacent friends.”

The president began the lawsuit by offering his condolences to Germans for the loss of beingness and spot caused by caller floods. He went connected to convey the chancellor for “an exemplary beingness of groundbreaking work to Germany.”

Mr. Biden was asked to face cases of diplomatic turmoil person to home, including protests successful Cuba and unrest after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti. He told a newsman that beyond dispatching Marines to defender the U.S. Embassy there, helium was not considering sending American troops.

Addressing a question of demonstrations crossed Cuba, Mr. Biden accused its authorities of being a “failed state” that was “repressing their citizens” and said helium would not extremity rules against payments Americans tin marque to their Cuban relatives due to the fact that helium could not beryllium definite that the authorities would not instrumentality them.

“I would not bash that now,” helium said, “because the information is, it is highly apt that the authorities would confiscate those remittances, oregon large chunks.”

The president grew testy erstwhile helium was asked astir his apical home economical priorities. When asked if helium was assured that a $3.5 trillion fund framework drawn up by Democrats would beryllium capable to walk with each Democratic legislator connected board, Mr. Biden chastised the quality media arsenic pre-emptively suggesting that the plan, on with negotiations implicit an infrastructure deal, was headed for failure.

“I americium supremely assured that everything is going to enactment retired perfectly,” helium said dryly. “I person watched and listened to the property state my inaugural dormant astatine slightest 10 times truthful far. I don’t deliberation it is dead. I deliberation it is inactive alive.”

Aside from much thorny argumentation issues, Ms. Merkel’s sojourn was a diplomatic triumph thigh of sorts earlier her word expires. She started her time with a food soufflé meal with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Later successful the day, the chancellor received an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, adding to her postulation of degrees from Harvard and Stanford. Once she arrived astatine the White House, Ms. Merkel and the president exchanged compliments successful the Oval Office.

Though the speech was not overly warm, it was leagues much collegial than Ms. Merkel’s past meetings successful the Oval Office. When she asked Mr. Trump successful 2017, “Do you privation to person a handshake?” Mr. Trump seemingly did not.

Just arsenic Ms. Merkel spent years responding mildly to Mr. Trump, she has not ever been overeager to judge Mr. Biden’s entreaties that the U.S.-German narration had been restored to a consciousness of normalcy. During the virtual Munich Security Conference held this year, she said of the U.S. narration that “our interests volition not ever converge.”

By the clip of the quality league connected Thursday, Mr. Biden and Ms. Merkel seemed much funny successful continuing her farewell enactment than discussing what divided them.

After the quality conference, they attended meal with longtime allies, including Hillary Clinton. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the number leader, was besides scheduled to attend aft a travel earlier successful the time to spot Mr. Trump astatine his play nine successful New Jersey.

After the 2 leaders fielded questions, Mr. Biden steered Ms. Merkel distant from reporters.

“If we don’t permission close now,” helium told her, “we are going to miss dinner.”

Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.

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