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Updated: June 7, 2011 07:22 IST

Obama, Merkel talk policy before night of pomp

AP
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President Barack Obama with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their dinner in Washington on Monday.
AP President Barack Obama with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their dinner in Washington on Monday.

President Barack Obama plans the grandest of receptions for Angela Merkel on Tuesday. But weighty matters of war and economic turmoil will linger in the background for the German chancellor’s visit.

The two leaders were expected to deal with a wide range of issues at their White House meeting. They include NATO operations in Afghanistan and Libya, the Middle East peace process, and the global economy.

Later, Mr. Obama plans to treat Ms. Merkel to a night of high pomp at the White House, awarding her the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom during a formal dinner.

Tuesday will start with a bang for Ms. Merkel -- a 19-gun salute during a formal welcoming ceremony on the White House South Lawn ahead of the meeting with Mr. Obama.

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