Two of the world’s most powerful politicians got close to each other on Saturday at the G7 summit in England. US-German relations are “stronger than ever,” President Joe Biden tweeted after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel at Karbis Bay.
Merkel, who will visit the White House again next month after three years, also spoke positively. She spoke of “very good, constructive and very lively discussions” during the deliberations of the leaders of the seven rich industrial nations and the European Union.
Merkel said she mainly spoke with Biden about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday in Geneva. The NATO summit held on Monday in Brussels and the situation in Afghanistan regarding the withdrawal of US and other NATO forces were also discussed.
On the energy front, what the Americans say is an unwanted Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany can be completed without escalation. Merkel says the conflict is soon resolved as long as Ukraine can continue to play a role in transporting gas from Russia to Europe.
The position on China is another dispute between the two leaders. Biden faces a much tougher line against Beijing than Merkel and other European leaders. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a common approach, according to an insider.
The impetus came in the form of an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, through which Beijing is trying to make headway in poor countries. G7 has no concrete plans yet. The goal is for countries including Japan, France and the United Kingdom to provide funding and ideas for infrastructure, climate, health and digital technology projects.
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