U.S. President, Joe Biden and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will meet as part of efforts to renew trans-Atlantic ties after the tensions unleashed by his predecessor’s “America First” administration.

The meeting is to take place in the White House on Thursday.

The chancellor is set to begin the day in Washington with a breakfast meeting with U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris, before meeting U.S. business leaders and receive an honorary doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University.

Merkel’s U.S. trip is also likely to be one of her last foreign excursions as chancellor before she leaves the world stage at September’s election when she stands down as leader of Europe’s biggest economy.

The chancellor has made more than 20 visits to Washington during her 16 years in power with Biden now the fourth president to occupy the White House since she came to power.

The Biden-Merkel meeting is expected to focus on steps to end the global coronavirus crisis, the post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change as well international security issues such as the seven-year conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Merkel’s White House meeting is also likely to include talks on the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline aimed at supplying Russian natural gas to Europe via Germany.

The 11 billion dollar pipeline project has been a source of U.S.-German tensions, with Washington arguing it poses a security risk by increasing Europe’s dependence on Russia. (DPA/NAN)

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