German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be making her first visit to Washington DC since 2011 on May 1 and 2, and will be meeting with President Obama early Friday for a lunch meeting focused on international and economic issues.
This will be the first meeting between the two leaders since news broke last October that the NSA had been wiretapping Merkel’s phone calls. There is no doubt that tensions still exist between Merkel and Obama over the issue, and while various German politicians are urging the German chancellor to press Obama on the topic, Merkel’s spokesman has downplayed any likelihood of a resolution during this week’s meeting.
With the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, it is expected that Merkel and Obama will spend a majority of their time discussing the role both leaders will have in easing tensions.
While in Washington, Merkel will deliver a speech at the US Chamber of Commerce and will be meeting with various US Senators, as well as business and foreign policy representatives including International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde.