Biden to hold talks with Merkel: Berlin
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L), flanked by Entertainment Software Association President and CEO Michael Gallagher (R), smiles as he sits down to a meeting with representatives from the video game industry, in a dialogue about gun violence, in his office in Washington, January 11, 2013. REUTERS photoUS Vice President Joe Biden is expected to travel to Berlin soon for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, a German government spokesman said Sunday.
"There are plans for a visit," the spokesman told AFP. "The details and timings will be made known when they are confirmed." The newsweekly Der Spiegel had previously reported that Merkel would host Biden for an official visit in early February.
Biden is to address the Munich Security Conference, an annual meeting of top brass and foreign policy officials in the southern German city to be held February 1 to 3, Der Spiegel said.
They were originally due to hold talks on the sidelines of this meeting but Merkel will not be attending, the newsweekly added. Organisers of the gathering have not yet published a list of speakers.
US President Barack Obama did not visit Berlin during his first term in office although he went to the German towns of Kehl and Baden-Baden in 2009 for a NATO meeting.
Later that year, he also visited the eastern German city of Dresden ahead of commemorations of the D-Day landings in World War II.
In July 2008, as the Democratic candidate for the White House, Obama delivered a rousing speech before around 200,000 people before the Victory Column in Berlin's famed Tiergarten.