President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the start of the upcoming G-7 Summit. The President delivered a warm and gracious speech in which he thanked the German people for their kindness and friendship. The speech remembered the past but focused on our shared future and especially on the trade partnership we build in the future – which is precisely the big topic on the schedule for the G-7 Conference this year.
Gruess got! (Which means ‘may God greet you in German) It is wonderful to be back in Germany for my fourth visit as President. And to my great friend and partner, Chancellor Merkel; to Mayor Schwarzenberger and the people of Krün and Cree; to the people of Germany — thank you for welcoming me here today and for the incredible hospitality and the incredible beauty of this place.
I want to thank everybody for this wonderful visit to this beautiful village. I know it’s a lot of hard work when I come to town. That was, without question, the best alphorn performance I’ve ever heard. I have to admit that I forgot to bring my lederhosen. But I’m going to see if I can buy some while I’m here.
Now, I must admit that when I first learned that Angela was going to host the G7 in Bavaria, I was hoping that it would fall during Oktoberfest. But, then again, there’s never a bad day for a beer and a weisswurst (a German sausage). And I can’t think of a better place to come to celebrate the enduring friendship between the German and American people.
I come here grateful for the history that we share. And so much of America — including my hometown of Chicago — would not be the same without the contributions of so many German immigrants, including from Bavaria. Over the years, Bavaria and Germany have returned the favor by welcoming countless Americans — including generations of our service members and students from the George Marshall Center. And on behalf of the American people, I want to thank you for your gracious hospitality.
So over the next two days in Schloss Elmau, we’re going to discuss our shared future — a global economy that creates jobs and opportunity; maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union; forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic; standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine; combating threats from violent extremism to climate change. And on all these issues, we are very grateful for the partnership and leadership of your Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
These are all difficult challenges. But part of what gives me hope is the example of Germany. This year marks 70 years since the end of World War II — and decades of a great NATO Alliance. It marks 25 years since the unification of Germany that inspired the world. The fact that all of us are here together today is proof that conflicts can end and great progress is possible.
So this morning, as we celebrate one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known, my message to the German people is simple: We are so grateful for your friendship, for your leadership. We stand together as inseparable allies — in Europe and around the world.
My only final request for Angela is that, on such a beautiful day, instead of being inside, we should have all our summit meetings in this incredible village center — and drink beer. But I think we’ll have to negotiate with the security people.
Vielen dank (Many Thanks).