Obama to give speech in Berlin to mark Reformation anniversary

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13 April, 2017

Obama's spokesman Eric Schultz confirmed that the former president plans to join Merkel for "a moderated conversation on the importance of democracy and taking on responsibility locally and globally", according to ABC News.

The Obama Foundation is co-sponsoring the discussion and the joint appearance may be an attempt to bolster her chances of re-election.

The visit will coincide with the beginning of President Donald Trump's summer tour of Europe.

The former president will visit Germany for the launch of celebratory events organized by the Protestant Church as Germany marks the 500 anniversary of the Reformation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday held a meeting with leaders of worldwide economic and financial organizations at the chancellery in Berlin.

Angela Merkel's main rival in Germany's upcoming elections, Martin Schulz, is shying away from contact with the current government in order to fulfil his promise of a fresh start for the Bundesrepublik.

More news: American soldier killed fighting ISIS in Afghanistan

Obama was in Berlin in mid-November on his last European trip as president.

Obama visited Germany six times as president, but he captured the hearts and minds of Germans before he was even elected.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday (16 February) that Europe must not cave in to U.S. demands to raise military spending, arguing that development and humanitarian aid could also count as security.

The Obama-Merkel appearance is expected to occur prior to President Trump's first meeting with Merkel overseas, at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg in July, the Associated Press notes.

A crowd of more than 200,000 turned out to hear the then presidential candidate Obama speak in Germany in July 2008.

While he was very critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign, Obama has been reluctant to respond to his successor statements and actions from the White House since he left office, choosing to react only once: Last month, when Trump accused Obama of ordering illegal wiretaps of Trump Tower.


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