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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement on the Visit of German Chancellor Merkel

President Obama and the First Lady will welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband, Dr. Joachim Sauer, to the White House for an Official Visit and State Dinner on June 7, 2011.  This will be the first Official Visit by a German chancellor since Helmut Kohl was hosted at the White House in 1995.  Chancellor Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany and who became Germany’s first woman chancellor in 2005, received the 2010 Medal of Freedom, which the President will present to her during this visit.

The Chancellor’s visit underscores the fundamental importance of the U.S.-German alliance, the depth of the friendship between our people, and our commitment to move forward together on behalf of our shared interests and values. The President and the Chancellor will discuss the broad array of issues on which the United States and Germany cooperate closely, including in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Iran, and on promoting human rights and global economic stability and growth.