VOA: In Germany, Obama and Merkel to discuss trade, terrorism

16:54, 24 April 2016
World
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U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Germany midday Sunday, where he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the global economy, terrorism, transatlantic security and many other issues during his two-day visit to Germany, according to Voice of America (VOA).

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Obama will hold talks with Merkel in the coming hours after his arrival in Hannover, following his visit to Britain where he discussed various issues, including trade, VOA wrote.

After addressing the media, Obama and Merkel will officially open the Hannover Messe, billed as the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology. Organizers expect 6,500 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors from 70 countries.

White House officials say the event shows the importance of U.S.-German collaboration on many issues, including trade and commerce.

The two hope to build support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

The free trade pact is being negotiated by the U.S. and the European Union. Officials have said a U.S.-Europe deal would add $100 billion annually to the economies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

However, Germany's government has pushed the deal, saying it will boost the global economy and give small and midsized companies a better chance at competing on the world market while reducing bureaucracy.

Opponents have been critical of what they perceive as opaque negotiations carried out away from public scrutiny, and they fear that the pact will hand too much power to big multinationals at the expense of consumers and workers.

The European Union and the United States have been negotiating since 2013 on TTIP, and supporters hope it will gain momentum now that the U.S., Japan, and other Pacific Rim nations have reached an agreement on a separate trade deal.

The president felt it was important to visit Germany during his final year in office because Merkel has been “a close partner for his entire time in office," said Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.

Read alsoMilitary.com: B-52 bombers carry out first airstrikes against ISIS in IraqThe agenda includes the coalition fight against Islamic State and counter-terrorism cooperation, following attacks in Brussels and Paris in recent months.

“We will be discussing both how to increase cooperation across the Atlantic and what Europeans themselves can do to better integrate their various agencies within countries and across borders," said Charles Kupchan, White House senior director for European affairs.

The talks will include the status of a ceasefire in Syria and the implementation of the Minsk agreement reached by Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists.

Obama is also expected to express support for a deal between the European Union and Turkey to manage the flow of migrants and refugees from Syria and other unstable, chaotic or violent states.

The leaders and their counterparts from Britain, France and Italy will hold talks ahead of the NATO summit set for July in Warsaw.

Read alsoReuters: NATO's new deterrent may include bigger Black Sea presence"The president will be discussing the agenda in preparation for that summit and the importance of NATO addressing its challenges, both on the eastern and on the southern flanks," said Kupchan.

Obama will cap his visit on Monday with a speech outlining his vision for future U.S.-European relations.

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