Merkel invites Biden to Germany in first phone call

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited new U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Germany during their first official phone call after Biden’s inauguration, the German government said on Monday night.

Merkel congratulated Biden on his inauguration, and declared Germany’s willingness to take on responsibilities in dealing with international tasks together with its European and transatlantic partners, according to a statement of the German federal government.

Both leaders agreed that more international efforts were needed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the German chancellor welcomed the halt of the U.S. process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization.

Merkel and Biden also talked about foreign policies, particularly on Afghanistan and Iran, as well as trade and climate policies. Merkel welcomed the U.S. decision to return to the Paris climate agreement.

Merkel invited Biden to visit Germany as soon as the pandemic situation allows, said the statement.