Angela Merkel in Washington (January 13, 2006)
In her article “Schröder doesn’t speak for all Germans,” which was published in the Washington Post on February 20, 2003, then opposition leader Angela Merkel criticized the foreign policy of the Schröder government, especially with respect to Iraq. The article caused a scandal, because, until then, it had been an unwritten rule of German foreign policy that German politicians were not to criticize the Federal Government outside of Germany. Thus, when Merkel was elected chancellor in 2005, conditions were ripe for a new chapter in Germany’s relationship with the Bush administration. During Merkel’s first official visit to Washington at the beginning of 2006, the two governments discussed Iran’s nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Sudan, and the Congo in a pointedly friendly manner. When the discussion turned to terrorism, Merkel broached the issue of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but was unable to bring about a change in the administration’s position. This photograph shows Chancellor Angel Merkel being received by U.S. President George W. Bush in the Oval Office. Photo: Guido Bergmann.
Bildarchiv, B 145 Bild-00094820