Obama makes farewell visit to Germany

 Barack Obama and Angela Merkel have enjoyed a strong working partnership

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel have enjoyed a strong working partnership

US President Barack Obama is holding talks with close ally Angela Merkel on a last visit to Germany before he hands over to his successor, Donald Trump.
As he arrived in Berlin late on Wednesday, Mr. Obama and the German chancellor issued a joint statement strongly defending globalisation.
They said that with the world economy developing faster than ever, co-operation between nations was vital.
Mr. Obama is meeting other European leaders before he leaves Berlin.
He is expected to hold talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of France, Italy and Spain on Friday, before flying to Peru.
Officials say his talks will cover the crises in Ukraine and Syria, the fight against so-called Islamic State and transatlantic trade, as well as the outcome of the US election.
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Merkel have forged a strong partnership over the years, even surviving the revelation that American spies had listened to her mobile phone calls.
He has called her “probably… my closest international partner”.
In an article in business magazine Wirtschaftswoche (in German), the two leaders voiced their support for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU.
By contrast, Mr. Trump is a fierce critic of global free trade agreements and welcomed the UK’s decision in June to leave the EU.
“There will be no return to a world before globalisation,” Mr. Obama and Mrs. Merkel wrote.
“We owe it to our companies and our citizens, indeed to the entire world community, to broaden and deepen our co-operation.”
Mr. Trump’s win has left many in Germany uneasy as they see parallels with the sweep of right-wing and populist parties through Europe, reports the BBC’s Jenny Hill in Berlin.
German media have adopted an elegiac tone in their coverage of Mr. Obama’s visit, noting that the close relationship between the outgoing US president and the German chancellor is unlikely to be repeated with Mr. Obama’s successor.



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