Gerhard Schroeder has arrived in Washington for his seventh and possibly his last visit as German Chancellor.
He is due to meet US president George W Bush for talks on a range of issues. Top of the list is Berlin’s bid to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Germany is one of four countries that have submitted a resolution to increase the council to 25 members. It has not received support from Washington, which only endorses Japan’s request for a permanent seat. Bush and Schroeder’s last meeting in Germany in February was marked by a warming in relations following deep disagreement over the war in Iraq. While the security situation in Iraq is likely to be on the cards, the two leaders will also be discussing nuclear tension with Iran, the crisis within the European Union, the upcoming G8 summit, as well as the political situation in Germany. Schroeder is widely expected to lose in a general election scheduled for September which many believe will bring conservative leader Angela Merkel to power.