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Bush to Meet Merkel Next Month
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US President George W. Bush is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on May 3, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Under Chancellor Merkel's leadership, Germany has worked closely with the United States to strengthen a transatlantic partnership committed to advancing freedom and prosperity around the world.

"The two leaders look forward to continuing their discussions on global challenges, including preventing Iran from acquiring the capability to make nuclear weapons, promoting peace and democratic reform in the Middle East, securing Afghanistan's reconstruction, advancing democracy in Eastern Europe and Africa, strengthening NATO, as well as promoting free trade and energy security," the statement said.

During her visit, Merkel is also expected to attend the 100th-anniversary celebrations for the American Jewish Committee in New York.

Germany is a traditional ally of the United States in Europe. But there was tension between Bush and Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, who vehemently opposed the US-led war in Iraq.

Merkel visited the White House in January two months after she took office. Merkel signaled at the time the need for warmer relations with the United States.

(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2006)

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