THE LATEST: Obama Praises Merkel, Celebrates Us-german Ties

June 7, 2015 Updated: June 7, 2015
FONT BFONT SText size

KRUEN, Germany— ___

11.45 a.m. (0940 GMT, 5:40 a.m. EDT)

President Barack Obama is calling the current partnership between the U.S. and Germany “one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known.”

Obama opened his German visit Sunday by appearing in the picturesque Alpine village of Kruen with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama is closer to Merkel than most heads of state although their relationship was tested over the past two years following revelations that the National Security Agency had tapped her cellphone.

Obama says leaders will discuss the global economy, European Union, trade, Russian-Ukraine, violent extremism and climate change.

He told a crowd of beer-sipping locals that on these issues, world leaders are grateful for the “leadership and partnership of your chancellor.”

___

11:25 a.m. (0925 GMT, 5:25 a.m. EDT)

President Barack Obama thinks he could use some leather pants.

The U.S. president has met G-7 summit host German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the village of Kruen, greeting a crowd Sunday with the words “Gruess Gott” — the form of “hello” commonly used in Bavaria.

Obama told the crowd to laughter: “I forgot to bring my lederhosen, but I’m going to see if I can buy some when I’m here.”

Lederhosen are leather shorts, sometimes with suspenders, that are a traditional Bavarian outfit for men.

Obama thanked residents for their warm reception, saying they put on the “best Alpine performance that I’ve ever heard.”

Kruen is a few kilometers (miles) from the Schloss Elmau hotel, where the G-7 summit will begin later Sunday.

___

11 a.m. (0900 GMT, 5 a.m. EDT)

Protesters have blocked roads as the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies arrive in the Bavarian Alps to begin a two-day summit.

Several hundred demonstrators began hiking early Sunday from the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to get near the security perimeter around the Schloss Elmau hotel, the secluded summit venue 8 kilometers (5 miles) away.

Some 22,000 police from around Germany were brought in to keep the protesters away from the hotel as the delegations from the U.S., Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Japan and Italy began arriving. Journalists were flown by helicopter to the venue to avoid delays on the roads Sunday due to the protesters.

There was a short clash between protesters and police during a demonstration Saturday but it was otherwise relatively peaceful.