Monday, April 4, 2011

Germany's Merkel to visit with Obama June 7

The White House says its next state dinner will be a June 7 affair honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In between the requisite Oval Office meetings with President Barack Obama and the opulent dinner, Obama will also present Merkel with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom he recently awarded her. She did not attend a White House medal ceremony in February.

The state dinner for the chancellor and her husband, Joachim Sauer, will be the first for her country since 1992, two years after the reunification of East and West Germany. Merkel grew up in communist East Germany. In 2005, she became Germany's first female head of government.

The White House says the war in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Iran and the global economy are on the agenda. The announcement did not mention Libya, which has been a source of disagreement between the two countries.

Germany abstained from voting on the U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and protection for civilians from forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. The U.S. led the initial stages of the operation and continues to participate.

The June 7 soiree will be the fourth state dinner for Obama. Others were held for India, Mexico and China.

Spatzle is an egg-based pasta and kugelhupf is coffeecake.

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