Obama calls Merkel's life story 'an inspiration'

AP News
Posted: Jun 05, 2011 10:07 AM
Obama calls Merkel's life story 'an inspiration'

President Barack Obama has praised Chancellor Angela Merkel as "a good friend and one of my closest global partners" before the German leader's trip to the U.S. next week.

In an interview published Sunday in daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Obama says "I trust her when she makes a commitment."

Merkel is invited to a state dinner at the White House on Tuesday and Obama will also present her with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom he recently awarded her. She did not attend a White House medal ceremony in February.

Obama called the chancellor's life story "an inspiration." Merkel grew up in communist East Germany. In 2005, she became Germany's first female head of government.