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Foreign policy challenge for Merkel in US

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Foreign policy challenge for Merkel in US

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The German chancellor Angela Merkel is making her first official visit to the United States to try to repair ties damaged by Berlin’s opposition to the war in Iraq.

The visit comes after the controversy over allegations of secret CIA flights and prisons in Europe.Another thorn in the side of bilateral ties is Guantanamo bay – this week the US rejected German criticism of the camp. Merkel talked about improving cooperation on a wide range of issues.She said: “I think we will have to make a decision in the coming years: Is the big fight the one between Boeing and Airbus or is the important question: how do we use our common values in contact with China? On all of these questions we should have open and straight forward discussion.” Merkel is due to hold talks with President Bush later today.