This morning, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany to the White House. During the Germany Official Arrival Ceremony the President spoke of the strong alliance between our two countries:
Today marks the first official visit and State Dinner for a European leader during my presidency. It’s only fitting. The transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone -- is the heart -- of our efforts to promote peace and prosperity around the world. And Germany -- at the heart of Europe -- is one of our strongest allies. And Chancellor Merkel is one of my closest global partners.
Our alliance, at its core, is a partnership between our peoples. The generations of German Americans who helped build a strong America. The Americans who, during a long Cold War, helped to defend a free Germany. And citizens of both our countries -- entrepreneurs, innovators, students, scientists, and soldiers -- who work together, and forge the future, every day.
At a time when some have asked whether the rise of new global powers means the decline of others, this visit reaffirms an enduring truth. Our alliances with nations like Germany are more important than ever. Indeed, they’re indispensable to global security and prosperity.
Later in the day, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House taking questions on issues ranging from the economy to Libya.