Obama and Merkel in Berlin: News Roundup


Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

President Obama made his final trip overseas as president this week, meeting with his trusted partner, German chancellor Angela Merkel.  AGI has compiled a brief reading list of news from the meetings.

In advance of their meetings, Obama and Merkel published an op-ed on the future of transatlantic relations (in English), saying that the U.S. and Germany have a “joint responsibility to protect and preserve our way of life.”  That extends from fighting terrorism, to defending human rights, to furthering economic cooperation in the world’s largest economic zone.  We face many uncertainties around the world, but, as Obama and Merkel write, our two countries must “broaden and deepen our cooperation” and take the opportunity to address today’s challenges head-on.

The Washington Post calls the two leaders’ press conference a “message to President-elect Donald Trump” as they defended U.S. leadership on trade, climate change, and global security, and warned against putting too much trust in Russia. The FAZ offers similar commentary in German.

The populist trends that helped elect Donald Trump could also be a threat to Angela Merkel in her election next fall, says the Wall Street Journal.

Russia, accused by the U.S. intelligence community of interfering in the U.S. election, was a major concern for Obama and Merkel, who cautioned Trump about Putin.

Trump’s election has led some to talk of Merkel as now leading the West. The Economist, however, says that “anyone expecting Germany to fill America’s shoes will be disappointed.”

Spiegel Online takes a broader view of Obama’s eight years in office and his legacy not only for the U.S., but for Europe and the world.