Biden bids Merkel farewell: Friends — with disagreements

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcoming Angela Merkel to the White House for a final time, President Joe Biden renewed his concerns to the German chancellor Thursday about a major, nearly complete Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline but said they agreed Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon.

The two discussed — though made no apparent headway — on differences over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline during a largely friendly farewell visit for Merkel as she nears the end of a political career that has spanned four American presidencies.

“On a personal note, I must tell you I will miss seeing you at our summits,” Biden said as he stood by Merkel, the second-longest serving chancellor in Germany’s history, at a late afternoon White House press conference. “I truly will.”

Merkel, who had a famously difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump, showed her ease and familiarity with Biden, who has long been a fixture in international politics, repeatedly referring to him as “Dear Joe.”

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