The Obamas Are Here Air Force One Lands in Berlin
Barack Obama and his family arrived on Tuesday night for the US president's first visit to the German capital since assuming office. Air Force One has landed, and the American leader will stay for 25 hours.
Air Force One landed in Berlin at 8:20 p.m. CET on Tuesday evening, marking the start of an official working visit by United States President Barack Obama in the German capital. After their arrival, Obama, who is here together with his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, traveled by motorcade to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Potsdamer Platz, where the family will be staying. Helicopters could be heard flying above the city following the family's arrival.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and US Ambassader to Germany Philip Murphy welcomed the family on the red carpet after they descended the stairs from their Boeing 747. The Obamas, who traveled to Berlin directly from the G-8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, have no official program scheduled for Tuesday night.
During his brief stay in the German capital, which will last barely 25 hours, President Obama is expected to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Joachim Gauck and Peer Steinbrück, the leading candidate for the center-left Social Democratic Party in national elections scheduled for September. He is also slated to give a speech to 4,000 invited guests at the Brandenburg Gate at 3 p.m. on Wednesday (The speech will be streamed live on SPIEGEL ONLINE.)
During her stay, First Lady Michelle Obama is also expected to visit Berlin's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe as well as the Berlin Wall Memorial, which is home to one of the few remaining original stretches of the wall that once divided East from West Berlin during the Cold War.
In Berlin, a number of political issues are likely to be addressed with the president, including planned negotiations for a trans-Atlantic trade pact, the Syrian civil war as well as criticism of the US' massive Prism program of Internet monitoring, which has featured heavily in the German news since the revelations became public earlier this month.
SPIEGEL ONLINE International will have full coverage of President Obama's visit on Wednesday.